Jeanie Buss believes the Lakers‘ situation just wasn’t right for Kevin Durant, which is why he didn’t join the team in free agency, as she tells Hannah Storm of ESPN (video link). Buss added that she feels the free agents that Los Angeles did land will be able bring the franchise back to its historic level of play. The team added Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng in free agency this summer.
Here’s more from Los Angeles:
- The Lakers have reason for excitement because of how their young core performed during summer league, Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com writes. The team believes they have several players on the summer league roster who will become contributors down the line.
- The biggest surprise from summer league may have been Ivica Zubac‘s game and the Lakers believes he has a chance to become a great player in the league, Baxter adds in the same piece. “He knows how to play,” assistant coach Theo Robertson said. “It’s hard to teach that size. He establishes good position. He has soft hands. He can do a variety of things, whether it’s pop out to the 3-point corner, hit those types of jump shots. I feel like he can be a percentage free throw shooter and he has good touch around the rim. He’s starting to feel more power and understand the level of physicality that it takes to be successful in this league.”
- Being part of a winning culture was a key factor in Wesley Johnson‘s decision to re-sign with the Clippers, Rowan Kavner of NBA.com writes. “Just being around those guys every day, getting to know them at practice, getting to know their families, I think that all factored in,” Johnson said. Johnson also added that his foot injury, which caused him to be limited toward the end of last season, is feeling “100% better.”