Lakers Notes: LeBron’s Status, Reaves, Walker

With reports indicating that LeBron James is nearing a return from his right foot injury, the Lakers have upgraded his status for Sunday’s game against the Bulls from out to doubtful, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

James has missed the last 13 games after suffering a tendon injury in late February. He tweeted on Thursday that he’s working out three times a day in an effort to return as soon as possible.

“Progressing as normal,” coach Darvin Ham said when asked about James after Friday’s game. “Just doing the work that needs to be done for him to get his foot all the way together.”

The Lakers have managed to remain competitive without James, posting an 8-5 record and climbing into eighth place in the Western Conference.

There’s more from L.A.:

  • Austin Reaves discusses his contract situation in an appearance on the Point Forward podcast with former NBA guard Evan Turner (video link). Reaves has become a breakout star in his second NBA season, but the Lakers have limitations on what they can offer when he becomes a restricted free agent this summer. “I would like to be here (with the Lakers),” Reaves said, “you know, but it’s the NBA, it’s a business at the end of the day. … I want to make as much money as I can and be as successful as I can, no matter where it’s at.”
  • Reaves may play for Germany in the World Cup, according to Robert Arndt of the German website Spox. Reaves’ grandmother is German, and he received a German passport several months ago.
  • The Lakers got a huge boost from Lonnie Walker on Friday night as they topped the Thunder to move to .500 for the first time this season, per Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. Walker, who started 32 games earlier this season, has found himself outside the rotation after L.A. picked up D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt and Rui Hachimura before the trade deadline. Walker came off the bench Friday to score 20 points in 24 minutes and impressed his teammates with his mental toughness. “We don’t win this game without him,” Anthony Davis said. “He comes in, is playing well and I don’t know, I’ve never been through it where I’m playing and then get benched or whatever, but I can only just imagine how it messes with the mind. To be mentally strong to go from a starter to move to the bench, don’t play. Then come in and play big minutes, help the team win. You got to be a strong-minded individual for that.”
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