The majority of the two dozen team executives, scouts, agents and other figures from around the NBA who spoke with Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com said the Lakers definitely shouldn’t re-sign Kobe Bryant if he decides to play beyond the expiration of his contract at season’s end. Another sizable chunk of respondents said it should depend on his health, while only one said the Lakers should definitely bring him back. Part of the issue involves repeated assertions from people around the league that free agents won’t want to sign with the Lakers and play with their longtime star, as Holmes relays. Bryant has said he won’t play for an NBA team aside from the Lakers, but if he did, few teams would have interest, Holmes hears. One executive mentioned the Knicks as a possibility, and another brought up the Clippers. See more from around the Western Conference:
- Markieff Morris gave further indication Wednesday that he indeed wants to stick around Phoenix, telling reporters, including Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, that he intends to convince local fans he’s on board. “I’ll win them back,” Morris said. “That’s all I can say about that.” Morris last week backed off his trade demand from the summer, and the Suns apparently have no interest in sending him out, even though the Pistons are reportedly interested.
- Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger and Matt Barnes sloughed off the notion that reports that Barnes physically attacked Knicks coach Derek Fisher will have any bearing on the team, and Joerger expressed full support for his player, notes Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal. Barnes said that he hasn’t spoken with anyone from the league office, but the NBA is investigating, Tillery adds. Memphis traded for Barnes this summer, and he’s entering the final season of his contract.
- Ed Davis prioritized the chance for minutes over money when he decided to sign a three-year, $20MM deal with the Blazers this summer, as Casey Holdahl of Blazers.com details. “I was playing well in Toronto my third year, then I got traded to Memphis,” Davis said. “I played behind [Zach Randolph] and Marc [Gasol] for a year and a half, didn’t really get the opportunity. I was playing 13, 14 minutes a game and there’s no way that’s you’re going to be successful in the NBA with those minutes. That set me back for a year and a half. I guess the media or whatever thought I couldn’t play, or whatever it was. Went to L.A. [Lakers] last year, had a decent year and everything turned. Now I’m in a great situation and I’m looking forward to it.”