Lakers Rumors

Lindsey Harding To Join Lakers’ Coaching Staff

Lindsey Harding is leaving the Kings organization to join the Lakers’ coaching staff, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Last season, Harding was named G League Coach of the Year in her first season with the Stockton Kings. The previous four years, Harding was as an assistant/player development coach with the NBA’s Kings.

She will be the first full-time female assistant coach in Lakers’ history, according to Khobi Price of the Orange County Register.

New Lakers head coach J.J. Redick and Harding are Duke alums. Harding was a player development coach and pro personnel scout with the Sixers when Redick played for Philadelphia from 2017-19.

Harding interviewed for the Hornets’ head coaching job this offseason. Charlotte wound up hiring Boston assistant Charles Lee.

Harding has also coached the Mexican women’s national team since 2022 and previously served in the same role for South Sudan’s women’s team.

Former Hornets assistant coach Bob Beyer is also expected to join Redick’s staff, The Athletic’s Johan Buha reports. Beyer has been in attendance for multiple Lakers summer league games.

Former head coaches Nate McMillan and Scott Brooks will reportedly be Redick’s top assistants.

Pacific Notes: Porter, Clippers, Lakers, Suns, O’Neale

The Clippers‘ decision to sign Kevin Porter Jr. to a two-year contract is “in no way (meant to) downplay, diminish or condone domestic violence,” president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank told Law Murray of The Athletic on Monday.

Porter reached a plea agreement of a third-degree reckless assault misdemeanor in January after having been originally charged last fall with felony counts of assault and strangulation following an altercation with his former girlfriend in New York. He may still face discipline from the NBA, which is investigating the case.

Frank said Porter and the team will “abide by” any decision the league makes and told Murray that the Clippers had an independent specialist evaluate the guard before deciding to bring him aboard.

“He’s had an offseason personal-development plan that he’s been committed to,” Frank said. “And then, based on our specialist recommendation, he’ll have an offseason and off-the-court personal-development plan that he’ll be held accountable to. With that being said … we thought, hey, look, positive change is possible, and here’s an opportunity for him.

“… We take these allegations very, very seriously. With that being said, we’re going to lean on people who are experts in the field to be able to advise us — whether it’s Kevin or anyone else — is worthy of a second opportunity and why. And we’ll just kind of look at every case and every individual on a case-by-case circumstance. But we’re very aware and respectful to the sensitivities that come with, you know, these allegations. And like I said, that’s why we’ve invested a lot in terms of making sure that there’s a personal-development plan where there’s a high level of accountability.”

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Examining what has been a quiet offseason for the Lakers, Jovan Buha of The Athletic says the team is expected to continue to remain patient as it considers possible roster moves. The Lakers will likely make a consolidation trade at some point to potentially open up a roster spot and/or more room below the second tax apron, sources tell Buha, but that may happen until closer to the start of the season.
  • The Suns still have some work to do to fill out their coaching staff ahead of Mike Budenholzer‘s first season in Phoenix, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. As Rankin details, former NBA big man Pero Antic – who played for Budenholzer in Atlanta and is working with the Suns’ Summer League roster, is one possible candidate for an assistant role.
  • After signing a new four-year contract to remain with the team, Royce O’Neale said he thinks the Suns have “an opportunity to do something special” next season, which made it an easy decision for him to stay in Phoenix, according to Rankin. The Suns dealt with a series of injuries last season and made some major roster changes before and during the season, including adding O’Neale at the trade deadline. The hope is that more continuity will help make a difference in 2024/25. “We’ll have a whole complete year to build some team chemistry and everything, get acclimated and hit the ground running and do a lot of special things,” O’Neale said.

L.A. Notes: Bronny, Redick, Miller, A. Johnson

After a rough start to his NBA career in Summer League play, Lakers guard Bronny James may begin the upcoming season in the G League, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. James was in the spotlight on Friday during his first game in Las Vegas, where a partisan Lakers crowd cheered every positive thing he did. However, the shooting woes he experienced during the California Classic continued, as he was held to eight points while going 3-of-14 from the field and missing all eight of his three-point attempts.

“I’m just looking forward to any basketball I play, no matter what level I’m playing at,” James responded when asked about the possibility of playing in the G League.

McMenamin notes that James’ agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, seemed opposed to a G League assignment when he warned teams not to draft his client if they planned to offer a two-way contract. James received a standard four-year deal from L.A., but he may need time to develop his game before being ready for the NBA.

Summer League coach Dane Johnson, who also guides the South Bay Lakers, indicated that no discussions have taken place about where James will start the season.

“I don’t know about that yet, so I can’t really comment on that,” Johnson told reporters. “But I think all these guys are going to be in the G League at some point — the draftees.”

There’s more on the two L.A. teams:

  • J.J. Redick joined his former ESPN broadcast partners during Friday’s game to explain why he decided to become the Lakers‘ head coach, relays Jacob Rude of Silver Screen and Roll. Redick said he felt a “calling to coach” and he wanted to test himself in a “high stakes, high pressure” environment. “The other part of it is,” Redick added, “in my retirement, I realized what gives me fulfillment and what gives me drive and motivation and that’s competition, that’s performance, that’s collaboration, being part of a team … the other parts of that are leadership and service. I said this in my press conference, like a big driving factor in this for me is I just want to help people. I want to help players. I want to help coaches. I want to empower people. I, obviously, want to help this Lakers organization get back to the top.”
  • After scoring 36 points Friday night, Jordan Miller said his goal is to earn a standard contract with the Clippers, per Law Murray of The Athletic (Twitter link). The 24-year-old wing played on a two-way deal last season and earned All-Rookie honors in the G League.
  • Long-time NBA player Amir Johnson is working with the Clippers this summer to help develop the team’s prospects, Murray tweets.

Groups Revealed For 2024 NBA Cup

The NBA has announced the five-team groups for this year’s in-season tournament, now renamed the Emirates NBA Cup, the league announced in a release on Friday (Twitter link).

Like last year, there are six groups — three each from the Western Conference and Eastern Conference — and each conference was split into five groups based on last year’s standings. One team was selected at random from each group to determine the group round matchups.

The results are:

  • West Group A: Timberwolves, Clippers, Kings, Rockets and Trail Blazers
  • West Group B: Thunder, Suns, Lakers, Jazz and Spurs
  • West Group C: Nuggets, Mavericks, Pelicans, Warriors and Grizzlies
  • East Group A: Knicks, Magic, Sixers, Nets and Hornets
  • East Group B: Bucks, Pacers, Heat, Raptors and Pistons
  • East Group C: Celtics, Cavaliers, Bulls, Hawks and Wizards

The NBA Cup begins with group play, which runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 3. Each team plays one game against each of the four opponents in its group. The NBA released a matchup matrix to help fans follow along (Twitter link).

Just like last season, the winner of each group advances to a knockout round alongside the team with the best record in each conference that didn’t win a group. The semifinals and finals will again be played in T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Last year, the Lakers won the inaugural in-season tournament over the Pacers. LeBron James was named the tournament MVP after dropping 24 points in the title game.

The full game and broadcast schedule for group play will be announced next month.

Stein’s Latest: Ingram, Lakers, Fournier, Hawks

Pelicans star forward Brandon Ingram has been one of the most frequently-floated names in trade discussions this summer.

According to Marc Stein at Substack, Ingram’s performance in the 2024 playoffs against the Thunder is among the factors that have given New Orleans’ potential trade partners pause. Stein also indicates that Ingram is seeking a four-year, $208MM contract extension on his current expiring deal.

League sources tell Stein that Ingram’s management is striving to help the Pelicans find a willing trade partner. As Stein writes, having the former All-Star play out his current expiring contract with the Pelicans and become an unrestricted free agent next summer likely isn’t the preferred outcome for either the player or team.

Here are more rumors from Stein:

  • The Lakers are looking to create some additional cap flexibility in order to make use of their $5.2MM taxpayer mid-level exception. The team is currently right at the second tax apron, prohibiting L.A. from signing an outside free agent for more than the minimum. If the Lakers can shed some salary, free agent sharpshooter Gary Trent Jr. could be among the targets that make sense, Stein notes. The club currently has a full 15-man roster, so any cost-cutting move intended to make room for a free agent would also need to open up a roster spot.
  • Sources inform Stein that the rebuilding Wizards have registered interest in free agent wing Evan Fournier, who could be a mentor to recent lottery picks and fellow Frenchmen Alex Sarr and Bilal Coulibaly.
  • While starting center Clint Capela has been on the trade block for more than a year, new Hawks big man Larry Nance Jr. – added via the Dejounte Murray trade earlier this summer – is drawing more trade interest from rival teams, Stein writes. According to Stein, multiple clubs in need of more size have expressed interest in Nance.

L.A. Notes: Davis, Lakers, DeRozan, Batum, Clippers, Christie

After LeBron James downplayed any concerns over what has been a quiet offseason so far for the Lakers, his star teammate Anthony Davis followed suit from Team USA’s training camp in Las Vegas, as Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times relays. Davis pointed out that injuries to presumptive rotation players like Jarred Vanderbilt and Gabe Vincent had an impact on last year’s team and that having better health luck in 2024/25 could make a difference.

“We don’t know what we could have been if we had those guys, especially in the playoffs,” Davis said. “You know especially Vando because he’s a big part of what we do defensively. But, so we look at the lineup, and you know we come in ready to work.

“And last year is last year. We can’t say, ‘Oh this is the same team.’ It could be a different result. For us it’s about coming in with the mindset of getting to work and seeing how it plays out.”

Of the 15 players who finished last season on the Lakers’ roster, 13 remain under contract for the coming season. The only two newcomers to this point are the team’s two draft picks, Dalton Knecht and Bronny James.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two Los Angeles-based teams:

  • Although DeMar DeRozan was said to be on the short list of “impact” Lakers targets that LeBron James would have been willing to take a significant discount for, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium stated during an appearance on The Rally (Twitter video link) that it came down to the Kings and Heat for DeRozan. “I’m told the Lakers never went beyond expressing just simple interest in DeRozan,” Charania said. “There were no offers or tangible conversations with the Bulls on a sign-and-trade deal.”
  • Speaking to reporters after he agreed to re-sign with the Clippers, veteran forward Nicolas Batum indicated that he chose to reunite with his former team and former head coach (Tyronn Lue) after receiving interest from over half the league. “I had several options, a lot of options, I actually had 17,” Batum said (French link via BasketUSA.com).
  • The Clippers, who had the NBA’s oldest roster last season, haven’t exactly been a player development hub in recent years, according to Law Murray of The Athletic, who takes a look at how the team could change that going forward, starting with this year’s second-round pick Cam Christie.

Olympic Notes: France, Japan, Spain, Flagg, Brooks

The host nation for the 2024 Olympics officially confirmed its roster for the Paris games, announcing a 12-man squad headlined by centers Rudy Gobert and Victor Wembanyama of the Spurs and Timberwolves, respectively (Twitter link).

Besides France’s twin towers, other NBA players on the French squad include Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, Wizards forward Bilal Coulibaly, and free agent swingman Evan Fournier. Nando De Colo, Frank Ntilikina, and Guerschon Yabusele are among the other players on the team who have previous NBA experience.

As first reported by Gabriel Pantel-Jouve of BeBasket on Sunday (via Twitter), France’s final two cuts were also former NBA players — guards Elie Okobo and Theo Maledon won’t be on the 12-man roster for Paris.

Here are a few more notes on the upcoming Olympic games:

  • As expected, Japan’s official 12-man roster for the Olympics is headed up by Lakers forward Rui Hachimura and six-year NBA veteran Yuta Watanabe (Instagram link). Former Nebraska Keisei Tominaga, who recently agreed to an Exhibit 10 deal with the Pacers, is another notable name on the 12-man squad.
  • After winning their Olympic qualifying tournament over the weekend, Spain is making just one change for the Olympics, as Johnny Askounis of Eurohoops writes. Veteran wing Alex Abrines, who played in the NBA with Oklahoma City from 2016-19, has been medically cleared to play following an injury and will replace 2024 Spurs second-round pick Juan Nunez for the Olympics. The full roster, which includes Santi Aldama of the Grizzlies and the Hernangomez brothers, can be found right here (Twitter link).
  • Incoming Duke freshman Cooper Flagg said over the weekend that he was “pretty surprised” to be invited to be part of the Select Team for the U.S. training camp in Las Vegas, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. However, Flagg was the talk of that Vegas camp, earning rave reviews from players and coaches alike, according to Joe Vardon and Sam Amick of The Athletic. Select Team assistant coach Jim Boylen referred to the 17-year-old as “unbelievable,” while teammate Jaime Jaquez said Flagg was “playing out of his mind.” Flagg is a candidate to be the No. 1 pick in the 2025 draft. “He showed no fear,” Jalen Duren said. “He came and worked hard every day. You would think he’s already here, you know what I mean?”
  • After defeating Team USA with the Canadian national team for bronze at the 2023 World Cup, Dillon Brooks is eager to face a more star-studded U.S. in Wednesday’s exhibition game in Las Vegas, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic. “I take it as (just) another game, but me being who I am, I like to make a statement,” Brooks told reporters on Monday. “So I’ll be ready to play. Team Canada will be ready to play, and we’re gonna go balls to the wall and watch the film after and see if we got better.”

Team USA Notes: Edwards, Durant, Leonard, LeBron

Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards declared himself “the No. 1 option” for Team USA during a media session on Sunday, but that’s not how he really views his place on the squad, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Vardon suggests that Edwards may have been performing a little bit when talking to reporters, defaulting to the brash personality that has helped him become one of the NBA’s most recognizable figures at age 22. Outside of the media spotlight, Edwards acknowledged that he’s teaming up with some of the greatest players of all time.

“We got LeBron (James), (Kevin Durant) and (Stephen Curry),” Edwards told Vardon. “So I don’t feel like nobody can beat those three by themselves on the court. You mix in two of us regular guys, we’ll be all right.”

Edwards and Tyrese Haliburton are the only returning players from the U.S. contingent that failed to win a medal at last year’s FIBA World Cup. Edwards became a star on that team after initially being projected for a sixth-man slot, but he knows it will be more difficult to earn a consistent role while playing with legends.

“They mentioned some guys might not play some games, or might not play many minutes,” Edwards said. “I don’t mind. Like I said, I’m playing alongside Hall of Famers. So I’m just here. But if they need me, I’ll be one call away.”

There’s more on Team USA:

  • A strained calf forced Durant to sit out the first two days of training camp, Vardon adds along with Shams Charania in a separate story for The Athletic. Coach Steve Kerr said the injury isn’t considered serious, but the Suns forward may miss Wednesday’s first exhibition game against Canada. “We’re just going to use an abundance of caution,” Kerr said. “It’s not bad. He’s assuring me that it’s not bad. We’re just going to be really careful and take it day by day.”
  • Kawhi Leonard had fears that lingering inflammation in his right knee might cause him to miss the Olympics, but he’s experienced enough improvement that he expects to be ready to play, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Yeah, but this is just my journey, so whatever … I can’t lay out the perfect script for me,” Leonard said. “Last year, I tried to play as much as possible, felt great. And at a certain period of time I couldn’t go. I tried the best that I could, but it’s just my journey. I don’t want to be in a situation that I do be in, but I got to take it for what it is. And a lot of people are watching, supporters or doubters, but I motivate a lot of people.” Leonard refused to comment on Paul George‘s decision to leave the Clippers in free agency, Bontemps adds, saying he wants to focus on Team USA.
  • Kerr was amazed after watching James operate at full speed during Saturday’s first practice session, according to Mark Medina of Sportskeeda. The 39-year-old Lakers star had no problem keeping up with his younger teammates. “I was blown away by how hard he practices,” Kerr said.

Contract Details: George, Martin, Wiseman, Isaac, Hield, More

Following the end of the July moratorium on Saturday, teams wasted no time in officially finalizing many of the contracts they’d agreed to up until that point.

Now that those contracts have been completed, we have the official details on many of them. Here, via several reporters – including Keith Smith of Spotrac, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, and cap expert Yossi Gozlan – as well as our own sources, are some of those notable details:


Players with trade kickers:

Lakers forward LeBron James (15%), Knicks forward OG Anunoby (15%), Sixers forward Paul George (15%), Sixers forward Caleb Martin (15%), Mavericks sharpshooter Klay Thompson (15%), and Mavericks forward Naji Marshall (5%) received trade kickers on their new free agent deals, while Celtics guard Derrick White (15%) got one on his contract extension.

As an aside, James’ exact starting salary in 2024/25 is $48,728,845, which is $1,258,873 below the maximum he could have earned.

Players who waived their right to veto a trade:

A player who re-signs with his team on a one-year contract (or two-year contract with a second-year option) is typically awarded the right to veto a trade, but has the option to waive that option.

Heat center Thomas Bryant, Rockets guard Aaron Holiday, Raptors wing Garrett Temple, and Magic teammates Gary Harris and Moritz Wagner all surrendered their right to veto a trade in 2024/25 and could be moved freely.

Unlikely incentives:

Nets center Nic Claxton ($97MM base + $3MM incentives), Pacers forward Obi Toppin ($58MM +$2MM), Suns forward Royce O’Neale ($42MM +$2MM), and Sixers forward Martin ($35,040,704 + $5,256,106) are among the players whose contracts include unlikely bonuses that would boost the total guaranteed salary if those incentives are reached.

As cap expert Albert Nahmad observes, the structure of Martin’s contract helped the 76ers maximize their cap room, since his unlikely incentives don’t count toward the cap once he signs.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Martin’s “unlikely” incentives are easier to earn than a typical player’s incentives would be — I don’t expect them to be for making an All-Star team or anything like that. An incentive is considered unlikely for cap purposes if the player wouldn’t have met the criteria the year before. For example, as Nahmad suggests, a bonus related to Martin making 24 or more starts would be considered unlikely because he started 23 games last season. Martin’s bonuses – considered “unlikely” for cap purposes but perhaps “likely” to be earned in reality – could have served as a way to strengthen the Sixers’ offer without sacrificing that extra cap room.

It’s also worth noting that a player’s unlikely incentives can’t exceed 15% of his guaranteed base salary, and Martin’s $5,256,106 in incentives represent exactly 15% of his overall $35,040,704 salary.

Partial or non-guarantees and options:

James Wiseman‘s two-year, minimum-salary contract with the Pacers is guaranteed for $500K in year one, with a team option for 2025/26. That team option would be guaranteed for $569,041 if exercised (ie. the same percentage as his first-year salary).

Luka Garza got a similarly structured two-year, minimum-salary deal with the Timberwolves, except his first year is fully guaranteed prior to his second-year team option. That 2025/26 option would be guaranteed if picked up.

As previously reported, Isaiah Hartenstein‘s three-year, $87MM deal with the Thunder includes a team option for 2026/27. It’s worth $28.5MM, with $58.5MM in guaranteed money across the first two seasons.

Magic teammates Harris ($7.5MM) and Wagner ($11MM) each have second-year team options on their two-year deals.

The Rockets used their full bi-annual exception to give Holiday a two-year deal worth $9,569,400 that includes a second-year team option ($4,901,400).

Neemias Queta‘s three-year, minimum-salary contract with the Celtics is fully guaranteed in year one with a partial guarantee of exactly 50% ($1,174,789 of $2,349,578) in year two, plus a third-year team option for 2026/27. The third-year option ($2,667,944) would be guaranteed for 50% ($1,333,972) if exercised. Since his minimum deal covers more than two years, a team wouldn’t be able to acquire Queta via the minimum salary exception if he’s traded down the road.

Jonathan Isaac‘s new long-term deal with the Magic is partially guaranteed ($8MM of $14MM) in 2026/27, with non-guaranteed salaries of $14.5MM in 2027/28 and $15MM in 2028/29. However, each of those salaries would become fully guaranteed if Isaac plays at least 52 games in the prior season. For instance, if Isaac were to appear in 54 games in 2026/27, his $14.5MM salary for ’27/28 would be fully guaranteed.

Sign-and-trade contracts:

Interestingly, Kyle Anderson‘s and Buddy Hield‘s new contracts with the Warriors have the exact same salaries for the first three seasons: $8,780,488, $9,219,512, and $9,658,536. Anderson’s three-year deal is fully guaranteed for the first two years and non-guaranteed in year three.

As for Hield, his four-year contract is fully guaranteed for the first two years, with a partial guarantee of $3MM for year three. His fourth year is a $10,097,560 player option that would be partially guaranteed for $3,136,364 if exercised.

Klay Thompson’s three-year contract with the Mavericks comes in at exactly $50MM, as reported — it starts at $15,873,016 and features 5% annual raises.

Jonas Valanciunas‘ three-year contract with the Wizards is worth $30,295,000 in total, beginning at $9.9MM (which is the amount of the trade exception generated for the Pelicans). It’s fully guaranteed for the first two seasons and non-guaranteed in year three.

Cody Zeller got a three-year, $11,025,000 deal in the sign-and-trade that sent him from New Orleans to the Hawks. The first year is guaranteed for $3.5MM, with two non-guaranteed seasons after that.

Finally, as part of the Mikal Bridges trade, new Nets guard Shake Milton got a three-year, $9,162,405 contract that has a guaranteed first-year salary of $2,875,000, with two non-guaranteed years after that ($3MM in 2025/26 and $3,287,406 in ’26/27). His teammate Mamadi Diakite, who was also sent to Brooklyn in the trade, had his $2,273,252 salary partially guaranteed for $1,392,150.

Milton’s $2,875,000 salary, Diakite’s $1,392,150 partial guarantee, and Bojan Bogdanovic‘s $19,032,850 salary add up to $23.3MM, which is equivalent to Bridges’ salary — the exact amount of outgoing salary the Knicks needed to send to avoid being hard-capped at the first tax apron.

LeBron Was Willing To Give Bigger Discount For Impact Player

LeBron James took less than the maximum in his latest two-year contract with the Lakers in order to give the front office more financial flexibility. He cited his strong “working relationship” with the club in an interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

“We are in a relationship and anybody knows relationships, [knows that] it’s all about committing,” James said. “It’s also about doing things to help both sides. So, we’ve been in a working relationship going on seven years … so that’s what it’s about.”

According to McMenamin, James left nearly $3MM on the table in order to help L.A. avoid the second tax apron. James, who opted out of his previous contract prior to free agency, signed his two-year pact over the weekend.

Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, James’agent, told McMenamin that James was willing to take even less money to open up the $12.9MM non-taxpayer mid-level exception for the Lakers to use to try to sign an “impact player.” The players that they hoped could be attainable for the mid-level or via sign-and-trade included Klay Thompson, James Harden, Jonas Valanciunas and DeMar DeRozan. The Lakers weren’t able to land any of them.

“It takes two to tango,” James said. “I think our front office, our coaching staff, they tried to do the job that they wanted to do or tried to get guys to come and it didn’t happen. And that’s OK. That’s part of the business. I’ve been in this business long enough to know that sometimes it happens, sometimes it don’t. So we don’t sit here and lie about or cry about it. We move on and Klay’s a great player. Obviously DeMar’s a great player. Valanciunas was one of those guys who ended up going to Washington, was someone that was in talks with us, but we move on to see how we continue to get better.”

Unless they make a trade down the road, Lakers are basically running it back with virtually the same roster. Yet, James isn’t discouraged.

“We’ve done it before and we still have two guys who commit every single day with myself and (Anthony Davis). We commit to excellence and commit to win,” he said. “And we feel like any situation, any given year, we can put ourselves in a position to be able to succeed. And we’re not that far off. We were one year removed from the Western Conference Finals. Obviously, this year it didn’t go as well this past year. Didn’t go as well as we would like, but we’re not that far off.”

Of course, James has another reason to feel good about the front office. The Lakers drafted son Bronny James in the second round, which touched off a wave of criticism that he was undeserving of being selected. However, LeBron says his son simply ignores the outside noise.

“I don’t know if people really understand Bronny,” he said. “He doesn’t care. I actually care a little bit. When I came in [as a rookie], I wanted people to like me and some of the things that people were saying about me kind of bothered me early on in my career. … He doesn’t give a (bleep). He does not care about nobody. He doesn’t even listen to that stuff. He’s like the coolest. He’s like the complete opposite of his dad.