Clay Moser

Lakers Notes: Butler, Vogel, Draft, Moser

Sixers forward Jimmy Butler wouldn’t hesitate to join the Lakers if they made a max offer, tweets Arash Markazi of The Los Angeles Times. Butler likes the idea of playing in L.A., and LeBron James has reportedly already reached out to gauge his interest.

Because Philadelphia owns Butler’s Bird rights, the Sixers can offer the 29-year-old a longer contract and larger annual raises than anyone else. However, Philadelphia has two other free agent starters to address in Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick, and there are durability concerns for Butler, who has topped 67 games in a season just once in the past six years. He played a combined 65 games this season for the Timberwolves and Sixers.

There’s more Lakers news to pass along:

  • New coach Frank Vogel offers his first public comments on several players in a video tweeted by the team. Vogel calls Lonzo Ball “one of the most unique players I’ve ever studied” and said he wants Ball’s passing to serve as a blueprint for the whole team. He says “the sky’s the limit” for Brandon Ingram because of what he has accomplished at a young age. Vogel also shares his thoughts on James, Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart.
  • The Lakers are believed to have strong interest in Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter and Vanderbilt guard Darius Garland with the No. 4 pick in next month’s draft, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. The fourth choice is believed to be the first spot of uncertainty in the draft after Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett are off the board.
  • Assistant coach Clay Moser has left the Lakers’ staff to take a job at Arkansas, according to Pete Roulier of HawgSports. Moser, who was with L.A. for seven and a half years, will be an assistant to long-time cohort Eric Musselman“Clay and I have worked together in the NBA, with the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, and in the NBA Development League with the Reno Bighorns and Los Angeles Defenders,” Musselman said. “We also worked together with the Dominican National Team. Clay is an incredible ‘X and O’ coach and he has been at the forefront of basketball analytics. He loves player development and brings the NBA experience that our players look for and will soak up.”

Pacific Notes: Lakers, Karl, Cousins, Dawson

The Lakers have seemed to lag behind in the adoption of advanced metrics, so they’re creating a new front office position designed to serve as a liaison between the coaching staff and number crunchers in management, as Bill Oram of the Orange County Register details. Assistant coach Clay Moser is expected to transition into that role, Oram reports, noting that the Lakers underwhelmed LaMarcus Aldridge with the basketball side of their presentation while he was reportedly “floored in a good way” by the Rockets’ analytics and on-court projections. Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • George Karl was known to have reached out to DeMarcus Cousins on several occasions over the past few months, but before their brief encounter at summer league this week, Karl hadn’t spoken with him for quite some time, writes Sam Amick of USA Today. Still, Kings vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac wants everyone on the same page by training camp, and the plan is for Karl and Cousins to have a more extensive face-to-face meeting before that, as Amick details.
  • Kings management won’t let Karl hire son Coby Karl as an assistant coach, as Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times hears (Twitter link).
  • The Clippers are in line to save money on No. 56 pick Branden Dawson even though they gave up $630K to trade for his rights, as former Nets executive Bobby Marks observes (Twitter links). He’ll make the rookie minimum salary of $525,093 this season, but if the Clips had instead signed an undrafted free agent for the minimum, it would have counted as $947,276 for luxury tax purposes, as Marks points out, adding that the Clippers are in line to pay about $1MM less in tax penalties as a result.

Western Notes: Terry, Papanikolaou, Lakers

With a few weeks until training camps begin, here is the latest news coming out of the Western Conference on Tuesday evening:

  • Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Rocketsdeal for Jason Terry will be completed tomorrow (via Twitter). The trade, which will send Terry to Houston and Alonzo Gee and Scotty Hopson to Sacramento, was originally agreed to on August 31st. There was a report yesterday that it would be finalized today, so we should expect an official announcement shortly.
  • Feigen also expects the signing of Kostas Papanikolaou to become official this week, though he cautions that his buyout ($1.5MM) and the necessary FIBA approval make it a little unpredictable (Twitter link). Papanikolaou’s first-year salary of just under $4.8MM is the most ever given to a second-round pick in his first NBA season.
  • The Lakers announced today that Paul Pressey, Jim Eyen and Mark Madsen will join Byron Scott on the Los Angeles bench as assistant coaches this season. Beyond that trio, the team also announced Clay Moser, Larry Lewis, Tom Bialaszewski and J.J. Outlaw as members of the staff. Rondre Jackson has been promoted to director of player development and Jordan Wilkes has been hired as an operations assistant, according to the team release.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.