The Lakes intend to keep Jordan Clarkson as part of their long-term future, reports Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News. Clarkson, whose non-guaranteed contract is worth $845,059 next season, has been putting up impressive numbers since he became the team’s starting point guard 32 games ago. “We know he’s going to be on our team next year,” said coach Byron Scott. “But we have to add pieces. There’s no doubt about that. I don’t think we necessarily are saying we’re building around him. But we’re adding pieces with him.”
There’s more from Los Angeles:
- With the last third of his season wiped out by injury, the Lakers are looking toward what Nick Young can contribute next year, according to Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com. Scott said today that Young, who has missed the last 20 games with a fractured kneecap, will likely sit out the rest of the season. Scott hopes that Young, who signed a four-year, $21.5MM deal with the team last summer, is a different player when he returns for 2015/16. “He’s a home run or a strikeout type guy on the offensive end,” Scott said. “Just like I told him: He has to elevate his game. He has to grow as a basketball player if he wants to continue to play in this league for a long time. He has to get better moving without the ball; being able to defend people a little bit better; and be a better off-the-ball defender as well.”
- This may be the Lakers’ last shot at a high draft pick for a few years, writes Tom Ziller of SB Nation. Ziller doesn’t think the Lakers will consider tanking in 2015/16, which will likely be Kobe Bryant‘s final season in the NBA. He also expects improvement through the draft and free agency and notes that executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss is going to have to turn things around quickly in order to keep his job. The Lakers are currently fourth in Hoops Rumors’ reverse standings.
- Buss and his sister, Jeanie, are trying the recapture the front-office stability that marked the Lakers for decades, according to Thomas Golianopoulos of Grantland. Jeanie Buss may run the organization, but she has yet to use her veto power on any of the decisions made by her brother and GM Mitch Kupchak.