And-Ones: Ellington, Mekel, Cavs, Thunder

Wayne Ellington has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the Lakers, the team announced. Ellington’s father was tragically shot and killed this past Sunday. It is unclear if this will affect Ellington’s roster spot, as he has a partial guarantee of $315,646 set to kick in if he remains on the roster past this coming Saturday. The team is reportedly pursuing free agent Quincy Miller, and with their current roster count at the maximum of 15 players, the Lakers would need to waive or trade a player to create room for any signing. Los Angeles was recently granted a disabled player exception worth $1,498,680 in response to the season-ending injury suffered by rookie Julius Randle.

More from around the NBA..

  • A number of teams are interested in signing the recently waived Gal Mekel, sources tell Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Given that the Mavs are on the hook to pay him $1.76MM over the next two years, Kennedy surmises that Mekel might wait for a prime opportunity rather than jumping at the first offer thrown his way.
  • Dion Waiters thinks the early season woes that the Cavs have endured will make them a better team in the long haul, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. His new teammate, LeBron James, also cautioned that immediate success shouldn’t be expected when teams first come together, adding that the roster still needs to work on a number of areas.
  • Mark Cuban suggested the Thunder might be wise to consider tanking in wake of injuries to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks says he wouldn’t consider such a strategy, as Sean Deveney of Sporting News transcribes. “I don’t really pay much attention to other people’s thoughts on our team,” said Brooks in response to Cuban’s comments. “I know what our organization is about… Tanking is not something that we will consider. I don’t think any teams focus on doing that — you’re a pro team, you get paid to play. You play as hard as you can and do the best you can as a group. So that’s never even been considered.
  • Michael Kaskey-Blomain of thinks that the Sixers came away with the biggest steal of the 2014 draft in K.J. McDaniels. Taken with the 32nd selection, McDaniels has jumped out to a quick start this season, averaging 9.3 points and 1.7 blocks per night.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

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