Western Notes: Lakers, Katsikaris, Sikka, Turner, Samanic

After re-adjusting the Anthony Davis trade, the Lakers find themselves with approximately $32MM to spend in free agency. With Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and others available, Los Angeles figures to use the newfound space to pursue one of those premier players.

Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus examined how the team may approach free agency with $32MM at their disposal. Pincus labeled Leonard as the only player who may be worth the sizable investment for the Lakers. Otherwise, the team would be better off spreading the available money around to create a more balanced roster.

Among Pincus’ breakdown includes hypothetical deals – mimicking the 2017 Heat’s trick of signing several players to unlikely incentives – for D’Angelo Russell and a slew of veterans. Whichever way the Lakers elect to go, Pincus notes that pursuit, and possible acquisition of Leonard, remains a realistic outcome.

Check out more Western Conference notes below:

  • After spending one season with the Jazz as an assistant coach, Fotis Katsikaris is headed to Spain to become the new head coach of Herbalife Gran Canaria, as first reported by Eurohoops. Katsikaris is the second Jazz assistant coach to depart this offseason as Antonio Lang recently joined the Cavaliers’ staff.
  • The Spurs are set to bring their 2019 first-round pick, Luka Samanic, stateside after reaching an agreement with his former team Petrol Olimpija Lubiana to release him, according to Sportando. The Croatian forward averaged 8.2 PPG and 5.0 RPG last season.
  • Elston Turner is set to return to the Rockets as a lead assistant coach, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports. Turner previously spent four years as an assistant with the Rockets under Rick Adelman.
  • The Timberwolves announced the hiring of Robby Sikka as vice president of basketball performance and technology. Per ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter links), Sikka is giving up consulting gigs to focus solely on Minnesota. “Robby’s background and skillset strongly aligns with our desire to be a modern, player-centric organization,” said Timberwolves’ president Gersson Rosas said. “In his new position, Robby will play a key role in the integration of medical, technology, analytics and player development with the goal of improving basketball performance and player wellness.”

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