Los Angeles Lakers Rumors

Pacific Notes: Bogut, Clarkson, Crawford

December 19 at 7:06pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Andrew Bogut has struggled with various injuries throughout his career, something that weighs heavily on the Warriors’ big man, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports writes. Bogut’s injury woes reached a boiling point during the middle of the 2012/13 season, and Bogut went as far as telling his agent David Baumann that he planned to retire at the end of that season, Spears notes. “I called him midseason and said, ‘I’m done, ‘ ” Bogut said. “My back was so bad at the time. After every game it was like a balloon and it was like catching my tail to get back to the next game. If we had two games in three days, my ankles were really swollen. I had to get around the clock treatment, anti-inflammatories. It got to the point where it just wasn’t responding.”

Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Bogut’s most recent malady involves his right knee, for which he recently underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy, and he’ll be sidelined indefinitely as a result. Despite his frustrations, Bogut will attempt to finish out his current deal with the Warriors, which runs through 2016/17, and then decide if he wishes to continue playing, Spears adds. “I got two years left [on my contract] and I will play it by ear,” Bogut said. “My goal is to play these two years out and see where I’m at. I am having fun, but it’s a grind though. Some days you wake up and you can’t walk. It takes you an hour to get your body right, to get to the gym, get to your car. But that’s a part of being a pro athlete.
  • The Lakers have recalled Jordan Clarkson from the Los Angeles D-Fenders, their D-League affiliate, the team announced (Twitter link). This was Clarkson’s fourth stint with the D-Fenders of the season.
  • Jamal Crawford has heard all of the trade rumors surrounding him, but the Clippers guard doesn’t let them get to him, Rowan Kavner of NBA.com writes. “I’ve been in trade rumors ever since I’ve been here, which is the weirdest thing,” Crawford said. “But that’s part of the business, honestly. I can play wherever. I can play here, I would love to play here. But if not, if something happens, you move on and do what you’ve got to do.

Southeast Notes: Stephenson, Hawks, Wizards

December 19 at 11:30am CST By Chuck Myron

The Heat are slumping, and they’re without Chris Bosh for the time being, but they’re still holding down a would-be playoff spot as they sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They’ll play host to the division-leading Wizards tonight, and while we wait for that, here’s more from around the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets believe that a groin injury is behind Lance Stephenson‘s decreased production this season, and that’s has helped motivate the team to back off trade talk regarding him, report Ramona Shelburne and Chris Broussard of ESPN.com. That’s even though Stephenson has had a negative effect on team chemistry, as sources tell the ESPN scribes.
  • The Hawks have sent Mike Muscala on D-League assignment, the team announced. Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution originally reported the news (Twitter link). Muscala spent a two-day stint in the D-League earlier this season, and he’s averaged 4.9 points in 10.0 minutes per game across eight appearances with the big club so far this year.
  • The frequent D-League assignments for Jordan Clarkson help prove the Wizards were wise on draft night when they acquired $1.8MM in cash in a trade that sent out the pick that the Lakers used on him, argues J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Rasual Butler‘s play since taking the roster spot that otherwise ostensibly would have gone to Clarkson is further evidence, Michael believes.
  • Versatility has been a key asset for Evan Fournier, who’s helping the Magic reap much greater benefit than expected from this summer’s Arron Afflalo trade, which brought Fournier from the Nuggets, as Andrew Perna of RealGM examines.

Rajon Rondo Trade Fallout/Reaction

December 19 at 9:54am CST By Chuck Myron

The Rajon Rondo trade stands to have an immediate effect on the Western Conference playoff race as well as the long-term future of the Celtics, who for many years were an Eastern Conference contender with Rondo. We’ll be rounding up the news still trickling out about the blockbuster trade throughout the day, with any new items added to the top:

  • There’s no shortage of confidence among Mavs officials that they can re-sign Rondo, a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com, who adds that obtaining Rondo will make it easier for the club to reach a new deal with soon-to-be free agent Tyson Chandler (Twitter link).
  • The Lakers planned a final offer of Steve Nash, the protected 2015 first-rounder that the Rockets owe the Lakers, and a second-round pick, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reports.
  • The Celtics were asking for as many as three first-rounders for Rondo at times in the past year or so, multiple league sources tell Lowe for the same piece.
  • Brooklyn was also in the mix for Rondo, but the Nets simply couldn’t make a deal work, a league source tells Robert Windrem of NetsDaily (Twitter link).

8:59am update:

  • Rondo spoke publicly about his fondness for Boston even in the hours before the trade, but privately the soon-to-be free agent was torn between remaining with the Celtics and joining a contender, a source tells Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). Still, Rondo didn’t tell the Celtics about the way he felt, Murphy adds in a second tweet.
  • The Celtics had decided that it would have been nearly impossible to compete this coming summer with other teams that could offer Rondo a better chance to win, sources tell Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. The C’s weren’t sure they wanted to engage in a bidding war for a player who turns 30 in the middle of next season, Bulpett adds.
  • The desire to complete a deal in advance of two months prior to the trade deadline, giving the teams the power to flip their incoming players in a deal that aggregates their salaries this season, wasn’t a major factor in the timing of the deal, Bulpett also hears. The Celtics were convinced that the offers would get no better and might worsen if they waited, and they didn’t see any better offers earlier in the process, either, sources tell Bulpett.
  • The Knicks couldn’t have relinquished a first-round pick that would have gone to the Celtics any sooner than 2018, and that’s largely what torpedoed any chance New York might have had of trading for Rondo, as Mark Berman of the New York Post hears. Still, Knicks brass is divided on how well Rondo would fit within the triangle offense, Berman adds.

Pacific Notes: Crawford, Allen, Bogut

December 18 at 7:04pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Doc Rivers dismissed the rumors that the Clippers are looking to trade Jamal Crawford, Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com writes. “I honestly don’t read anything,” Rivers said. “The fact that Jamal’s name is being mentioned, this is the first I’ve heard of it, literally right now. I don’t get into it. You guys are going to ask him about every rumor that’s out there. It’s just so much bogus chatter.”

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • When discussing free agent Ray Allen, Rivers reaffirmed that the Clippers would have interest in signing the veteran shooting guard if he decides to play this season, Markazi adds. “I just think he’s a good player,” Rivers said of Allen. “Why not add a good player to your team? He’s still good. We’ll see. I still have interest in him. He’s a good player. I think. I know he’s great at golf right now. He’s probably a scratch golfer by now; he’s had all this time. I’m assuming he’s still a good player.”
  • Warriors center Andrew Bogut will be out indefinitely after undergoing platelet-rich plasma therapy on his ailing right knee, the team announced. “We fully support Andrew in his decision to undergo the PRP treatment,” Warriors GM Bob Myers said in a statement. “Our number one concern is that Andrew is 100 percent healthy and we will continue to support him in any way we can to make that happen.”
  • Bogut’s health this season will be the difference between the Warriors remaining in the championship hunt, or the franchise becoming a second or third-tier contender instead, Marcus Thompson II of The Bay Area News Group writes.
  • The Lakers have re-assigned Jordan Clarkson to the Los Angeles D-Fenders, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News reports (Twitter link). This will be Clarkson’s fourth trip of the season to Los Angeles’ D-League affiliate.

Rajon Rondo Rumors: Thursday

December 18 at 4:55pm CST By Chuck Myron

The Celtics appear to have turned up the heat on Rajon Rondo talks, as several reports from Wednesday detailed. We’ll round up today’s latest in this post, with any additional updates throughout the day added to the top:

  • According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links), Dallas and Boston are progressing toward completion of a trade for Rondo tonight. The Mavs would send Wright, Crowder, Jameer Nelson, a future first round pick, and a future second-rounder to Boston, Stein adds.
  • The Rockets have dropped out of trade talks with the Celtics, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets.
  • Rondo and his representatives have made it clear to Dallas that the All-Star guard would be inclined to sign a new deal with the team this summer, Wojnarowski adds.

4:25pm update:

  • The first-rounder Dallas is offering as part of its package for Rondo is its 2015 pick, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link).

3:58pm update:

  • While the Lakers are in the hunt for Rondo, there is a strong desire in Los Angeles’ front office not to give up too much now for him via a trade, and instead, they would prefer to pursue Rondo in free agency this summer, Chris Mannix of SI.com reports (Twitter link).
  • The Mavs are emerging as the frontrunner in pursuit of a deal to acquire Rondo, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link).
  • Dallas is currently offering a package that includes Brandan Wright, Jae Crowder, and a first round pick, Wojnarowski adds.
  • The Lakers and the Knicks both declined to be a part of three-way deals that could have sent Rondo elsewhere, Wojnarowski tweets.
  • With Dallas in the lead for Rondo, the Rockets are “still fighting” to land Rondo, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reports (Twitter link).

2:31pm update:

  • The Lakers made an offer that included Jordan Hill and a first-round pick, if not more, for Rondo and Jeff Green, but the Celtics turned them down, according to USA Today’s Jeff Zillgitt (Twitter link). The Lakers would have indeed had to have added more salary to such a deal to make it work, and Hill isn’t trade-eligible until January 15th.

2:21pm update:

  • The Celtics are asking too much for Rondo for the Kings to engage in talks about him with Boston as they have in the past, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). A report late Wednesday seemed to indicate that Sacramento had spoken recently with the Celtics regarding the point guard, but it’s unclear just how long ago the teams last discussed the matter.

12:51pm update:

  • The Lakers have offered Steve Nash and multiple picks to the Celtics for Rondo, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com hears (Twitter link).

12:36pm update:

  • The Mavs are confident that they can convince Rondo to stay in Dallas for the long term if they convince the Celtics to trade him, sources tell Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link). That falls in line with Berger’s report from earlier that Rondo would be open to re-signing with the Mavs and Rockets if he were dealt to either team.

10:57am update:

  • The Rockets have been pursuing Rondo longer than the Mavs have, but Goran Dragic was more attractive to Houston than Rondo was over this summer, Stein notes (Twitter links). Rondo and Dragic both appear likely to hit free agency in the summer ahead.

8:59am update:

  • The Mavs have advanced to the offer stage and have made a pitch featuring Brandan Wright as the key piece, reports Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald. Dallas would have to add others to make the salaries match. President of basketball operations Danny Ainge has begun to move on from the idea of pairing Rondo with another superstar, spurring his apparent interest in gauging deals for Rondo, but the market for Rondo doesn’t appear as strong as Ainge had hoped, the Herald scribe writes. However, Ainge is in no rush to simply accept whatever he can find for Rondo just so the point guard doesn’t leave the C’s empty handed in the coming summer’s free agency, Bulpett adds.
  • Jae Crowder‘s name has also come up in talks, according to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe.
  • Rondo is open to re-signing with the Mavs and the Rockets if the Celtics trade him to either of those teams, a source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com. It’s “certain” that the Rockets will use their nearly $8.375MM trade exception by Friday, Berger writes, as they’ve reportedly been trying to do, and that stands to alter what Houston has to offer for the Celtics point guard.
  • The Lakers are among the teams to have chatted up the Celtics in recent days about a Rondo trade, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com, seconding an earlier report that the Rockets had done the same. The Lakers and the Knicks are on the “periphery” of Rondo talks, and the Lakers are more of a free agency option than a potential trade destination, as Berger adds in his piece.
  • The Pacers have also asked the C’s about Rondo, USA Today’s Sam Amick reports.
  • Rondo reiterated his fondness for Boston late Wednesday to reporters, including Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com“How many times do you want me to say it?” Rondo asked. “We discussed it on media day. My thoughts and my opinions as far as the organization [haven't] changed, so … I’m enjoying life. You can’t win ‘em all, but these guys are funny, I’m young and I’m doing what I love to do. It’s a dream come true. I can’t be upset about anything, really.
  • Ainge was vague in addressing the latest Rondo chatter in this morning’s radio appearance with Fred Toucher and Rich Shertenlieb on 98.5 The Sports Hub (audio link), as Rohrbach passes along (Twitter link). “I wouldn’t say it’s any different from any year,” Ainge said. “… We’re having a lot of discussions, just like we do every year.” 

Pacific Notes: Villanueva, Kings, Kobe, Suns

December 18 at 1:13pm CST By Chuck Myron

The Clippers have won 11 of their last 13 games and sit at 18-7, but they’d still be without home-court advantage in the first round if the playoffs started today. That helps explain why they reportedly remain interested in Corey Brewer, among others, given how high the bar is set in the Western Conference. Here’s more on the Clippers and their Pacific Division rivals:

  • Rick Carlisle‘s willingness to personally conduct workouts for Charlie Villanueva helped sell the veteran on signing with the Mavs this summer when the Clippers were also in hot pursuit, Villanueva said recently on Google Plus, as the Dallas Morning News transcribes. “Not to take nothing away from what the Clippers and Doc Rivers [are] doing, but it just felt right with Rick,” Villanueva said. “It was just a feeling. I went with a feeling in my gut and I feel like I made the right move.”
  • TNT’s Kenny Smith is among the names “floating around” for the Kings head coaching job, tweets Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com, though it’s unclear whether he’s truly a candidate. Smith had conversations with the Kings about a front office position in 2013, as he told Sam Amick of USA Today at that time.
  • Mitch Kupchak offered a little more wiggle room for the idea that Kobe Bryant would play past the expiration of his contract in 2016 when the Lakers GM spoke this week with Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio (audio link), observes Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. Kupchak earlier this month appeared to dismiss the notion of a prolonged career for Bryant.
  • Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that he and Suns owner Robert Sarver have had conversations about a new arena in Phoenix, observes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic. Sarver raised the issue publicly earlier this year, though Silver on Wednesday cautioned that he doesn’t believe there’s an “imminent” need for a new building, Coro notes.
  • The Warriors have recalled Ognjen Kuzmic from the D-League, the team announced. It was just a one-day stint for the center, who juxtaposed an impressive five blocks against a paltry three points in 28 minutes of action Wednesday for Santa Cruz.

Celtics Willing To Trade Rajon Rondo

December 17 at 10:19pm CST By Eddie Scarito

10:19pm: The Celtics are also talking to the Knicks and the Kings, though the discussions with the Mavs are the most serious, Stein reports. The Mavs would most likely send Wright and at least one first round draft pick to Boston for Rondo, Stein adds.

9:15pm: The Mavericks are serious suitors for Rondo, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link). Brandan Wright and Monta Ellis are among the players being mentioned who could potentially head to Boston, A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com notes (Twitter links). The Rockets have also discussed a potential deal for the point guard with Boston as well, Wojnarowski adds.

4:29pm: According to Chris Mannix of SI.com (Twitter link), word around the league is that the Celtics are the ones making preliminary calls to teams about Rondo. Mannix also notes that the Kings are the team to watch in regards to acquiring Rondo.

4:12pm: The Celtics are showing a renewed willingness to pursue trade packages that include point guard Rajon Rondo, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. According to Wojnarowski, Boston’s front office has left a strong impression with rival organizations around the league that it is prepared to make a deal that includes the veteran guard. Boston has been engaged in discussions described as “serious” in recent days, but no trade agreement is imminent, the Yahoo! scribe adds.

Trade discussions involving Rondo have been focused more toward Western Conference teams than with those in the East, Wojnarowski notes. The Celtics’ asking price for the 28-year-old remains “pretty high, probably higher than most want to pay,” one league official told Wojnarowski. Rondo is averaging 8.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 10.6 assists in 31.8 minutes per games this season.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge has been consistently shopping forward Jeff Green, in an attempt to secure a trade package that includes a first-round draft pick, Wojnarowski notes. With Boston now seemingly willing to trade Rondo, this would suggest that Ainge is prepared to embark on a full rebuild of the franchise, and perhaps attempt to guide the team toward a much higher spot in June’s NBA draft, Wojnarowski writes.

With Rondo set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and 2014 first-rounder Marcus Smart showing quite a bit of promise, trading Rondo instead of running the risk of losing him for nothing would seem like a wise move on the organization’s part. The Celtics have been hesitant to to commit to the idea of a maximum-salary deal for Rondo, something he will likely be seeking in free agency.

If Ainge is indeed looking at Western Conference teams, the two most likely suitors would probably be the Kings, who were previously said to be interested in acquiring Rondo, and the Lakers, another franchise also known to have significant interest in the point guard’s services. If Boston decides to try and deal with an Eastern team, the Knicks and the Pistons would immediately come to mind as potential suitors, though that is just my speculation.

Western Notes: Crawford, Moreland, Brewer

December 16 at 7:41pm CST By Eddie Scarito

Clippers guard Jamal Crawford is being mentioned quite a bit in exploratory trade talks, Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio reports (Twitter link). According to Amico, the Kings, Nuggets, and Thunder may take a run at acquiring the veteran guard, though no serious discussions are talking place just yet. In 23 appearances this season, Crawford is averaging 16.0 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in 26.7 minutes per game.

Here’s the latest out of the West:

  • The Kings have once again recalled Eric Moreland from the Reno Bighorns, their D-League affiliate, the team has announced. This was Moreland’s fifth sojourn of the season to Reno, and in seven appearances for the Bighorns he has averaged 13.7 points and 1.4 assists per contest.
  • For the second time this season the Rockets have assigned Clint Capela to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Houston’s D-League affiliate, the team announced. The 6’10” rookie has made four appearances for the Rockets this season, recording a total of six rebounds, one assist, a steal and a block in 12 total minutes of playing time. In his first stint with the Vipers, Capela played in six games averaging 9.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in 14.1 minutes per contest.
  • The Rockets‘ coaching staff is enamored with Corey Brewer and are still pursing a trade with the Wolves for the swingman, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities tweets. No deal is imminent, Wolfson adds.
  • Kevin Durant refuted the notion that players around the league don’t want to play with Kobe Bryant, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. When asked if this perception is why the Lakers have been unable to make a splash in in free agency lately, Durant said,  “Excuse my language, but that’s [expletive]. I want to play with a winner every single night, especially somebody who wants to win that bad, who works that hard, who demands a lot, who raises up your level. I’d want to play with a guy like that every day. His style may make people uncomfortable, how he acts and just how he approaches the game, but I love that type of stuff. I think [the accusation] is BS.”

Dwight Buycks To Play In China

December 16 at 9:06am CST By Chuck Myron

TUESDAY, 9:06am: Buycks is joining the Tianjin Steel, a source tells Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia (Twitter link).

MONDAY, 10:25am: Former Raptors point guard and recent Lakers workout participant Dwight Buycks has struck a deal with a Chinese team, reports David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link). The identity of the team is unclear. It’s the second time since Toronto waived him in July that he’s decided to take a deal to play overseas, though there appears to have been persistent interest from NBA clubs.

The Relativity Sports client has been a free agent since engineering a buyout from Valencia of Spain, the team that had signed him to a one-year deal over the summer. The Lakers and Clippers had non-guaranteed contracts on the table for Buycks when he went to Spain, Pick reported then, telling Hoops Rumors that Buycks and the Nuggets had been close to a deal. Sportando’s Enea Trapani identified the Suns as an interested party in July. Buycks was in talks with the Thunder in November, and the Grizzlies reportedly gave him a look around that time, though a source told Pick even then that there was a strong chance that the 25-year-old would end up in China. Still, the Lakers worked him out twice, both times head-to-head against Gal Mekel, though neither landed a deal with the purple-and-gold.

Last season was the first in the NBA for Buycks, who put up 3.1 points in 10.4 minutes per game across just 14 appearances, even though he was on Toronto’s roster all season. The Raptors let him go this summer just days before his non-guaranteed minimum salary would have become fully guaranteed for the season.

Pacific Notes: Kings, Malone, Price

December 15 at 6:48pm CST By Alex Lee

With the Suns, Lakers and Clippers in action tonight, let’s take a look at some news and notes coming out of the league’s Pacific division on Monday:

  • Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro told reporters, including Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee, that it was his call to fire Michael Malone and that the decision was made over philosophical differences rather than wins and losses (Twitter link).
  • While those differences are easy to point to as the main reason the Kings moved on from Malone, Scott Howard-Cooper writes that the most obvious takeaway from the situation in Sacramento is that the team should never have brought him back for this season in the first place.
  • Malone’s firing is just the latest testament to the lack of job security enjoyed by the majority of NBA head coaches, writes Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report, who adds that unrealistic expectations from ownership tends to be a common driver to early coaching exits.
  • The Lakers guaranteed half of the contract of Ronnie Price today, writes Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. Price is now guaranteed $658,405 of his $1.3MM deal, with the remaining portion to be locked in if the point guard is still on the team come January 10th. It was only a few weeks ago that Price seemed to be on the chopping block, but the veteran has since supplanted Jeremy Lin as the team’s starting point guard.