Lakers Notes: Walton, Ingram, Hawes, Playoffs

Firing coach Luke Walton at this stage of the season would be unnecessary and cruel, Marc Stein of The New York Times opines. A coaching change now wouldn’t improve the Lakers‘ short-team prospects beyond appeasing frustrated fans, Stein continues. It’s generally assumed around league coaching circles that Walton will likely lose his job after the season, followed by the Lakers resuming their trade quest for the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, Stein adds.

We have more on the struggling Lakers:

  • Forward Brandon Ingram has been putting up big numbers over the last six games, averaging 27.8 points and 7.5 rebounds, Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register notes. “He’s at the point where he kind of took his destiny in his hands, being more aggressive and being himself,” Suns coach Igor Koskoskov said. “We know he’s a talented player, versatile player.” The club has until opening night next season to reach a contract extension with Ingram, who is still on his rookie deal.
  • The G League’s South Bay Lakers claimed big man Spencer Hawes off waivers, according to a press release. Hawes last played in the NBA during the 2016/17 season, when he saw action in a combined 54 games for the Hornets and Bucks.
  • Missing the playoffs would be a complete organizational failure, ESPN’s Zach Lowe argues. Despite the team’s injury issues and the uneasiness in the locker room over the Davis trade talk, there’s no other way to look at LeBron James‘ first season with the Lakers should they fail to make the postseason, Lowe adds.
  • The Lakers have to keep their minds off the Davis situation to finish the season on a positive note, Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes.
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