Lakers coach Darvin Ham is feeling good about his team’s title chances after a successful offseason, writes Mark Medina of The Sporting Tribune. L.A. was able to add Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish and Jaxson Hayes while keeping Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell and Jarred Vanderbilt on team-friendly contracts.
“Our franchise has that tag of chasing down stars and trying to acquire the best possible talent across the board. But sometimes I think the way the game is trending, it’s all about cohesiveness,” Ham said. “It’s not just about winning right now. It’s about being able to win right now and have sustainability pieces.”
Ham believes having depth and the right complementary players is more important than adding a third star to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Medina states. Ham is willing to let any battles for playing time be worked out once training camp begins.
“There’s a lot of competition in the building. We have to let all of this stuff play out.” Ham said. “We’re just cracking into July, man. We don’t have to start until October. They’ll get an answer pretty soon on September 29th.”
There’s more from Los Angeles:
- Davis will become eligible for an extension on August 4, but the Lakers may be reluctant to give him the maximum amount he can earn, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. Although Davis is among the league’s best players, he missed 26 games last season and health will become a bigger concern now that he has turned 30. An Eastern Conference executive speculates that the Lakers might prefer to take their chances with Davis in free agency if he exercises an early termination option after next season. “There will be a bit more money on the market in 2024,” the executive said. “That would make them nervous. But nervous enough to give (Davis) $60 million a year? I doubt that. Because the Pacers aren’t giving him $60 million per year and you do not want to bid against yourself. It’s got to be reasonable for both sides. If Davis would play ball and sign for less, two years and $80 million or something, then maybe something gets done.”
- First-round pick Jalen Hood-Schifino had his lowest-scoring game of the summer on Friday, but the Lakers want him to concentrate more on play-making and especially defense, per Khobi Price of The Orange County Register. “That’s going to be his calling card early,” said Summer League coach JD DuBois. “Can you guard point of attack, get into the ball, pursue and guard without fouling? As long as he can progress in those areas, we have enough guys on offense to where he’ll be able to fit in. Defense will be that foundation for him.”
- Steve Kerr’s battles with Reaves impressed the Warriors coach enough to add him to Team USA’s FIBA World Cup roster, Price adds in a separate piece. Kerr explained that he was looking for versatility, size and play-making for the international tournament, and Reaves provides all those things.