The Lakers landing the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft lottery could spell the end for center Jordan Hill in Los Angeles, Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times writes. With the Lakers expected to select either Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor, coupled with Hill’s team option for 2015/16 worth $9MM, the franchise could find the veteran big man expendable, especially if it wishes to land a max level free agent this offseason, Pincus adds. The 27-year-old appeared in 70 games this past season, averaging 12.0 points and 7.9 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per contest.
Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:
- Despite the Kings not moving up in the draft lottery, team executive Vlade Divac believes the team can turn the No. 6 overall pick into an asset, Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee writes. “We have some options,” Divac said. “I think this class of rookies are very strong. We should be able to get someone who can help us next year.” This could also include the team dealing the pick, Jones adds. “I think we should be very open,” Divac said regarding a potential trade. “Our goal is we want to improve next year. We want to be much, much better.”
- Warriors coach Steve Kerr downplayed his role in the team winning a franchise best 67 games, and said that he simply joined the organization at the best possible time, Brian T. Smith of The Houston Chronicle writes. “I can’t say I expected it but I knew it was a possibility,” said Kerr, referring to the team’s success this season. “It was one of the reasons I took the job. The team has great talent; they were on the rise already. And I felt like we could make improvement and that we would be right in the thick of it in the West. … I probably took over the team at the ideal time. They were good but very hungry.”
- The Lakers securing the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft has made the franchise much more attractive to free agents who are on the market this summer, writes Sean Deveney of The Sporting News. “I think it is something that helps out their sales pitch in a big, big way,” one agent told Deveney. “The past couple of years, their pitch has sort of been, ‘Come play for us because we’re the Lakers and the weather is nice.’ That’s not enough. You’ve seen that. They have not had a direction, and that’s why players don’t want to go there.”