Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Murray, Westbrook, Hartenstein

Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma expects big things from three ex-teammates who were shipped to the Pelicans in the Anthony Davis trade, relays Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram, both former No. 2 picks, were sent to New Orleans along with Josh Hart in the deal to get another star to pair with LeBron James. Kuzma thinks the freedom of a new environment should benefit all three players.

“They were excited,” Kuzma said. “It’s a little bit less pressure. They didn’t (actually) say that. But obviously being in L.A., there’s more pressure. They can be themselves now. They can go to New Orleans and develop into the superstars they were supposed to be.”

There had been rumors for months that the Lakers were willing to part with young talent, including Kuzma, to acquire Davis. Kuzma said management told the players they weren’t eager to give up so much of their young core, but everyone understands that Davis is a rare talent.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Injured Spurs guard Dejounte Murray tweeted today that he has received medical clearance to continue his summer workouts. It’s the latest encouraging sign for Murray as he tries to work his way back from a torn right ACL he suffered during a preseason game last October. Murray was coming off a promising 2017/18 campaign in which he earned second-team All-Defense honors while posting an 8.1/5.7/2.9 line in 81 games. He is eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer.
  • As part of his trade from the Thunder to the Rockets, Russell Westbrook agreed to alter his contract, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. The changes will make his deal “more team-friendly and less front-loaded,” sources tell Stein.
  • Isaiah Hartenstein and Michael Frazier are trying to seize opportunities with the Rockets through extensive offseason workouts that are heavy on 3-point shooting, writes Kelly Iko of The Athletic. Both players will come to camp next month without fully guaranteed deals. Hartenstein has a 50% guarantee on his $1,416,852 contract for this season, while Frazier has the same salary with no guarantee.
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9 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Murray, Westbrook, Hartenstein

  1. Buckman

    Josh Hart has the most upside as Hubie would say. Lonzo would be the biggest bust of the ’17 draft if not for Markelle Fultz. Ingram is a toss up as to whether he will be an above average player.

    • Buckman

      15th best 2 man combo on 2017-18 Lakers at -3.8 pts per 100. Not inspiring. 14th best 3 man combo on 17-18 Lakers at -5.4 per 100. Not good.

  2. All BI needs is muscle development and more cardio.
    A stronger version of himself will allow him to exploit his length and accuracy

  3. harden-westbrook-mvps

    Now that Cousins is out for the year, the depth on the Lakers roster will be far worse than it was last season. They will be forced to use AD a lot more at center, even if they sign another veteran to backup McGee. That leaves Kuzma playing most, if not all, of the backup minutes at PF. That leaves Rondo and KCP as the only decent options coming off the bench after Kuzma. Dudley, Troy Daniels, and Quinn Cook can hardly be counted on for productive minutes with the 2nd unit.

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