Lakers Rumors: Brewer, D’Antoni, Zubac, Pelinka

Veteran swingman Corey Brewer hasn’t been sulking over the trade last month that sent him from the contending Rockets to the lowly Lakers, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. Coach Luke Walton credits Brewer for being a positive locker-room presence and helpful hand during film sessions despite losing out on a chance to play in the postseason. “He just has a great energy about him,” Walton told Feigen. “He makes the locker room a more enjoyable place to be. He’s been very pleasant to have around since the trade.”

In other news involving the Lakers:

  • Former coach and current Rockets head man Mike D’Antoni has only good feelings toward former GM Mitch Kupchak and previous executive vice president Jim Buss, Mark Medina of the Orange County Register writes. D’Antoni said Kupchak and Buss were fully supportive of him during the two seasons he coached the team, Medina continues. “They did everything for me they could possibly do. There’s nothing else to ask of them,” D’Antoni told Medina. “It was a tough time. We had to deal with a transition period and injuries.”
  • Rookie center Ivica Zubac has been one of the season’s few bright spots and he’ll remain in the starting lineup the rest of the season, Medina reports in a separate piece. Zubac, 19, posted a career-high 25 points and 11 rebounds in his third start on Monday against the Nuggets. The team is thrilled with his development, Medina adds. “Zu is a very skilled player,” Walton told the assembled media. “It doesn’t surprise me when he has nights where he’s making shots.”
  • Rockets GM Daryl Morey believes president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka will be a formidable duo in the Lakers’ front office, Medina relays in another story. Morey was impressed how Johnson conducted himself as they negotiated the deadline deal that brought Lou Williams to Houston. He also felt Pelinka, who represented James Harden, Trevor Ariza and Eric Gordon, was one of the league’s top agents. “When you come from different backgrounds, sometimes that gives you an edge as you come in a new role,” Morey told Medina. “I like the concept. Magic did the smart thing in pairing up with him. I think it’s going to be a good team.”
  • Pelinka told the players that he will be open about the franchise’s direction and ask for their input during individual meetings after the regular season ends, Medina notes in a story posted by the Los Angeles Daily News. “They want us to know what their plan is for the future,” Zubac told Medina. “Whatever we want to find out, good or bad things, we’ll find out when we speak to him. That’s really good we’re involved with him.”
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