Los Angeles Lakers – Hoops Rumors Legitimate NBA free agent and trade rumors. 2019-12-13T22:00:17Z https://www.hoopsrumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Luke Adams <![CDATA[Devontae Cacok's Two-Way Deal Is For Two Years]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=147212 2019-12-12T21:11:41Z 2019-12-12T21:11:41Z
  • Devontae Cacok‘s new two-way contract with the Lakers is a two-year agreement, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Cacok is one of six two-way players who is in the first year of a two-year deal.
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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Lakers Waive Zach Norvell Jr., Sign Devontae Cacok]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=147071 2019-12-12T18:52:59Z 2019-12-12T01:30:32Z 7:30pm: The Lakers have officially signed Cacok to a two-way contract and waived Norvell, the team announced in a press release.

    3:38pm: The Lakers are making a change to one of their two-way contract slots, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the club is waiving guard Zach Norvell Jr. and signing big man Devontae Cacok.

    [RELATED: 2019/20 NBA Two-Way Contract Tracker]

    Norvell, who went undrafted earlier this year, signed a two-way contract with the Lakers on the first day of the league year in July. He has logged just five minutes in two games with the NBA club this season, spending most of his time with the South Bay Lakers. In 23 G League games (24.7 MPG), he averaged 13.3 PPG on .353/.340/.867 shooting.

    Cacok, meanwhile, was in camp with the Lakers this fall on an Exhibit 10 contract but was cut at the end of the preseason when the team set its regular season roster. He reported to South Bay as an affiliate player and has been productive as a member of the Lakers’ G League squad, recording 16.3 PPG and 11.7 RPG with a .669 FG% in 12 games (22.8 MPG).

    Because he’s signing his two-way contract partway through the regular season, Cacok will be eligible to spend up to 33 days with the Lakers, a prorated portion of the usual 45-day limit.

    Kostas Antetokounmpo is the Lakers’ other two-way player. His status remains unchanged.

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    Luke Adams <![CDATA[Details On Wolves’ FA Offer To D’Angelo Russell]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=147045 2019-12-11T17:10:56Z 2019-12-11T16:53:19Z While D’Angelo Russell ultimately landed with the Warriors in free agency as part of a complicated sign-and-trade deal involving Kevin Durant, reports at the time indicated that the Timberwolves made the All-Star point guard their top offseason priority. Anthony Slater of The Athletic confirms as much in an in-depth piece on Russell, citing sources who say Minnesota’s initial offer to Russell was worth about $107MM over four years.

    The Wolves and Warriors were two of three serious bidders in the mix for Russell, according to Slater. The Lakers were also in play and would potentially have been willing to make an offer in the $100MM range, but were in a holding pattern as they pursued Kawhi Leonard.

    Minnesota “desperately wanted” to pair Russell with Karl-Anthony Towns and had spent much of June planning their recruiting pitch for the 23-year-old, Slater writes. However, when the Warriors put a maximum-salary ($117MM) offer on the table for D-Lo near the start of free agency, it didn’t take him long to choose Golden State.

    As Slater details, word of Russell’s tentative agreement with the Dubs broke when D-Lo was being transported back via helicopter from his meeting with the Wolves. “The mood in the cabin changed” when that news came out, Slater writes.

    “An awkward goodbye on the tarmac,” a source told The Athletic.

    In addition to the fact that the Warriors’ offer was more lucrative financially, Russell was intrigued by the idea of teaming up with two potential Hall-of-Famers like Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Speaking to Slater, Russell said he was excited about the idea of getting to “take a year and just learn from all these guys” — he caught himself when he realized he was talking as if expecting a trade.

    “Well, we signed a four-year deal,” Russell said. “Hopefully, four years.”

    According to Slater, Russell would like to remain with the Warriors for the entirety of his contract, but recognizes the team faces certain roster and cap constraints and knows nothing is guaranteed.

    “Yeah, you know, that’s what sucks more than anything,” Russell said of not being able to settle in for the long-term. “Like, it sucks more than anything. That’s kind of what I’m doing now though. I’m kind of just putting two feet into the house that I’m in now.

    “… I can’t control if (Warriors president of basketball operations) Bob Myers is like, yo, let’s go get such and such for this and make this pick,” D-Lo added. “That’s his job. I can’t control it or say anything about it, especially if I’m a part of it. So I don’t waste energy worrying about it.”

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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Bradley Cleared For Full Contact]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146919 2019-12-10T05:30:57Z 2019-12-10T01:30:11Z Lakers guard Avery Bradley has been cleared for full contact, the team’s PR department tweets. Bradley started 10 games for the streaking Lakers, averaging 9.8 PPG, before suffering a lower right leg injury. He had a hairline fracture in a non-weight bearing bone. Bradley’s two-year, $9.8MM contract includes a $5MM player option.

    • Lakers second-round pick Talen Horton-Tucker is trying to make the most of his G League appearances, he told David Yapkowitz of Basketball Insiders. Horton-Tucker is averaging 11.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.2 APG in 11 games with the South Bay Lakers. “I understand that I’m probably not going to get minutes with the Lakers right now,” Horton-Tucker said. “I feel like the G League has been great. It helps us get our reps in and it helps our careers get started.”
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    Alex Kirschenbaum <![CDATA[Davis Making Early DPOY Push, Lakers On 70-Win Pace]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146657 2019-12-08T12:00:52Z 2019-12-07T22:14:51Z The Lakers are off to a terrific 20-3 start, and seemingly in the thick of the hunt for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. All-Star power forward Anthony Davis has been making an early case for some hardware all his own: the Defensive Player of the Year award. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin spoke with Davis about the prospect.

    “A couple of years ago, I feel like I should have won it,” Davis told McMenamin, who notes that Davis finished third to Jazz center Rudy Gobert in 2017/18. The Lakers big man has made three All-Defensive teams.

    “I think he can and will win Defensive Player of the Year this year,” McMenamin cites Lakers head coach Frank Vogel as saying on Davis earlier in the week. “There’s no one in the league like him defensively in terms of being able to guard all positions, protect the rim the way he does and deflect the basketball,” Vogel said.

    Bench point guard Rajon Rondo noted his own high confidence in Davis, with whom he has played on both the Pelicans and Lakers. “I got him as MVP and Defensive Player of the Year,” Rondo said.

    • The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor tweets that the Lakers and Bucks (each 20-3) are both currently on pace to win at least 70 games a quarter of the way through the 2019/20 NBA season. O’Connor mentions that this marks just the fourth time in the last 40 years that a team in each conference has been on such a lofty trajectory at this point in the year. In each of the last three instances, one of the teams on this win pace wound up an NBA Finals champ.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Lakers Notes: Davis, Howard, Caldwell-Pope, Kuzma]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146328 2019-12-05T23:29:33Z 2019-12-05T16:45:55Z Anthony Davis has transformed the Lakers’ defense in his first season in L.A. and could be in line for his first Defensive Player of the Year award, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. Davis is averaging a league-best 2.7 blocks per game and has become the anchor of a rapidly improving defensive unit. Going into last night’s win at Utah, the Lakers ranked fifth in defensive rating, third in points allowed per game and seventh in opponent’s field goal percentage.

    “I think he can and will win Defensive Player of the Year this year,” coach Frank Vogel said. “I think there’s no one in the league like him defensively in terms of being able to guard all positions, protect the rim the way he does and deflect the basketball, contain the basketball. There really isn’t anyone in the league like him and if our team defense continues to play at a high level throughout the year, I think he’ll win it going away.”

    Davis has been in the top five of the DPOY voting a couple times and believes he should have won the award two years ago. He said he developed his defensive philosophy by studying Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard, who is now a teammate.

    “I’ve watched him grow over the years to blossom into a really great player on both ends of the floor,” Howard said. “So, really proud to see him sticking by his word and doing what he has to do every night to make this team better.”

    There’s more Lakers news to pass along:

    • One of the reasons the Lakers have the league’s best record is Howard’s willingness to accept a complementary role, observes Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times. He’s giving the team quality minutes as a backup center without demanding to be the focus of the offense. “Throughout Dwight’s career, he’s been a guy you bring the ball down and you throw to him in the post and everybody works off of him,” LeBron James said. “Now he’s a screener. He’s a roller. He’s a guy who facilitates the offense if you pass it in to him. He gets the ball to the guards and he waits for his opportunities and he’s basically been great in that role.”
    • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope often heard boos early in the season, but his game has improved since he became a starter, Turner adds in a separate story. KCP is averaging 10.6 PPG while shooting 52.5% from the field and 47.7 on 3-pointers since an injury to Avery Bradley moved him into the starting lineup.
    • The Lakers still need to develop a dependable third scorer to go with Davis and James, notes Pete Zayas of The Athletic, who examines how Kyle Kuzma can fit that role.
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    Dana Gauruder <![CDATA[Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Pacific Division]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146296 2019-12-10T18:58:02Z 2019-12-04T23:33:56Z Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Pacific Division:

    Montrezl Harrell, Clippers, 25, PF (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $12MM deal in 2018
    The Rockets had no idea what they were giving up when they tossed Harrell into the Chris Paul blockbuster. Harrell doesn’t have a three-point shot but otherwise, he’s a terror. He was a prime candidate for Sixth Man of the Year last season and will be once again. He’s averaging 19.1 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 2.2 APG despite starting just two of 22 games. Harrell will be a hot commodity as an unrestricted free agent and the Clippers will be pushed into luxury tax territory if they want to retain him. It would be worth the cost.

    Glenn Robinson III, Warriors, 25, SF (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $1.9MM deal in 2019
    Robinson’s last season in Indiana was a washout due to an ankle injury. His one season in Detroit was a washout due to a lack of production. With an expanded role on a bad team, Robinson is upgrading his resume. He’s averaging 32.1 MPG as a starter and averaging 11.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 2.0 APG while making 38.9% of his 3-point tries. Stats compiled under these circumstances can be deceiving but Robinson has at least regained his confidence and shown he’s worthy of a rotation spot on most teams.

    Avery Bradley, Lakers, 29, SG (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $9.8MM deal in 2019
    Bradley started 10 games for the streaking Lakers this season, though he didn’t shoot well (28.6% from deep) playing alongside two of the league’s biggest stars. The big issue for Bradley in recent seasons has been staying on the court and once again, the injury bug has bitten him. He’s out at least another week with a lower leg issue. Bradley’s contract includes a $5MM player option and he needs to show he can stay healthy and productive for a long stretch in order to decline that option and test the free agent waters.

    Aron Baynes, Suns, 32, C (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $10.6MM deal in 2018
    The popular Australian big man has gotten off to a terrific start in Phoenix with Deandre Ayton serving his 25-game league-imposed suspension. Baynes is averaging 14.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 2.9 APG in 24.0 MPG through 13 games. He’s also turned into a solid three-point shooter (43.9%), adding a new element to his game. He’s been slowed recently by a calf injury but with a dearth of quality centers around the league, Baynes will get some multi-year offers as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

    Harry Giles, Kings, 21, PF (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $6.6MM deal in 2017
    The 20th pick of the 2017 draft, Giles has battling injuries since entering the league. He didn’t make his NBA debut until last season, then appeared in 58 games off the bench. The Kings declined their fourth-year option on him prior to this season, making him an unrestricted free agent this summer. He doesn’t have a rotation spot under new coach Luke Walton, averaging just 7.4 MPG in seven appearances this season. The same age as a college senior, Giles will get a second chance somewhere but his offers will be modest.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[And-Ones: LaMelo, MVP Votes, Warriors, Fratello]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146279 2019-12-05T23:10:27Z 2019-12-04T20:02:40Z LaMelo Ball doesn’t mind a little campaigning in his effort to be the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft, writes Krysten Peek of Yahoo Sports. The buzz around Ball continues to grow as he strings together impressive performances in Australia’s National Basketball League. Over the weekend, he became the first NBL player since 2005 to post back-to-back triple doubles.

    “Most definitely,” Ball responded when asked whether he thinks he should be the first pick. “I believe in myself and I’ve worked hard to get here. The other guys at the top of the draft, James [Wiseman] and Anthony [Edwards], are very talented too. But just in the way I believe in myself, I think I’m the top pick.”

    Several scouts were in New Zealand recently to watch Ball go up against another projected lottery pick in R.J. Hampton. Many came away impressed, with one scout saying, “The fact that he’s putting up numbers like this in a league full of former NBA players is forcing every team to look at him as a potential No. 1 pick.” 

    Ball addressed rumors that he might end his season early to protect his health for the draft. He insists he’s “committed to the whole season,” even though his team is off to a 3-9 start.

    Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

    • Roughly a quarter of the way into the season, Giannis Antetokounmpo is in good position to repeat as MVP, according to Tim Bontemps of ESPN. In a poll of 101 media members, Antetokounmpo received 48 first-place votes and was the only player listed on all the ballots. LeBron James (29 first-place votes), Luka Doncic (14) and James Harden (nine) were next in line.
    • Declining ratings continue to be a concern, and the NBA has started taking action to address the problem. One solution is fewer national TV games for the Warriors, who have the NBA’s worst record after five years as its marquee team. Golden State’s next two scheduled ESPN games have been replaced, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic, who speculates that more are likely to be removed.
    • Former NBA coach and long-time broadcaster Mike Fratello will be back on the sidelines soon, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Fratello will serve as head coach for USA Basketball in February’s qualifying games for the FIBA AmeriCup.
    • Commissioner Adam Silver addressed the China controversy today, saying a “culture clash” was almost inevitable, tweets Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. NBA games haven’t returned to China Central Television, the main broadcaster in Mainland China, but they are back on Tencent, which Silver called a “thawing” in tensions (Twitter link).
    • Sources tell Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated that March 20 has been set for the debut of the NBA’s Basketball Africa League (Twitter link). The first game will take place in Dakar, Senegal.
    • The NBA will consider allowing corporate investors to hold passive minority stakes in more than one team, tweets Alex M. Silverman of MorningConsult. The measure will be part of the agenda at April’s Board of Governors meeting.
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Carmelo Anthony Was Hoping For Offer From Lakers]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146267 2019-12-05T23:04:23Z 2019-12-04T18:01:57Z Carmelo Anthony has revived his career with the Trail Blazers, but he told reporters in Los Angeles last night that he had been hoping to join his close friend LeBron James with the Lakers, relays Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. Anthony got a warm reception from the crowd during his first visit to L.A. since his 12-month exile from the league. There was speculation this summer that the Lakers might be the next team to give Anthony a chance.

    “There were a lot of teams that I thought I was going to be on,” Anthony said. “As far as LeBron goes, it’s something we’ve talked about since we were in high school. It wasn’t in his power. … I would’ve never put him in that position because a lot of times it’s deeper than that, and I started understanding the business of basketball.”

    The Clippers held Anthony to his worst game since he returned, limiting him to nine points on a 2-of-9 shooting night. Afterward, Paul George, who was Anthony’s teammate for one season in Oklahoma City, urged critics to back off and let Anthony show what he can still do.

    “I’m not going to be happy with [the criticism], with how they tried to shoot him down when he first started,” George said. “I am not going to be happy now that he’s playing well and they want to be on his side. He is going to have a long season. Let him play. Let him hoop. Say what you want when he’s finished, but let him hoop. It’s great that he’s getting that recognition now. When it is all said and done — people, let him play and let him hoop. It’s tough regardless when he came back; he had been out over a year, so there’s going to be some ups and downs. But let Melo hoop.”

    George is the latest in a series of high-profile players to speak out for Anthony. Teammate Kawhi Leonard said Sunday that he believes Anthony was treated unfairly and never should have been away from the league for so long.

    “It means a lot,” Anthony said of the support from his peers. “But also, the real ones know what’s going on. It’s not them. I never had issues with any of my colleagues saying anything about me. It’s the narratives that surround the game of basketball, the opinions that everybody has. All of these cameras have their opinion. So it’s those things that come into play, which can easily allow somebody to get down on themselves and want to give up and want to not be motivated. I was against all of that. I stayed with it. I stayed motivated. I pushed myself.”

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Wizards Notes: Howard, Miles, Beal]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=146031 2019-12-01T22:16:53Z 2019-12-01T04:00:02Z After injuries wiped out nearly all of his 2018/19 season, Dwight Howard made promises to new Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard that he never got a chance to fulfill, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. Howard suffered a back injury before training camp and played just nine games last year. Entering the second season of his two-year contract, Howard vowed to Sheppard that things were going to be different.

    “I told Tommy I was gonna lose 30 pounds and come back in the best shape of my life and we were gonna have a shot at winning a championship,” Howard said. “That was my goal all summer, to lose weight and come back better than ever.”

    Howard delivered on his promises, but not in D.C. He was traded to Memphis in July to create more minutes for centers Thomas Bryant, who re-signed this summer, and Moritz Wagner, who was acquired in a trade. Howard reached a buyout with the Grizzlies and accepted a non-guaranteed offer from the Lakers. It marked his second straight summer with a buyout arrangement and his seventh team in the past five years, but he’s grateful for the chance to rebuild his reputation.

    “A lot of times, you gotta outlive the lie,” he said. “I’ve been lied on for many years about who I am as a player, person, my character. So, I just wanted to get into good shape. If I say something, I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna be that way, and (that’s) not gonna change.”

    There’s more Wizards news to pass along:

    • The team is holding out hope that C.J. Miles won’t need surgery for his injured left wrist, relays Candace Buckner of The Washington Post. Miles damaged ligaments while taking a charge in Tuesday’s game and can’t visit a specialist until Monday when the Wizards are back from their current road trip. An operation would sideline him for about four months and likely end his season. “Right now, they’re talking to the doctors, talking to C.J. as well and our staff and have a game plan, I’m sure, the next couple of days,” coach Scott Brooks said.
    • Bradley Beal doesn’t regret his decision to accept a two-year extension, even though Washington is off to a poor start at 6-11, according to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. Beal could have turned down the offer and possibly paved the way for a trade to a contender, but he opted to commit to the organization through at least 2021/22. “It’s easy for people in all walks of life to see the grass as greener on the other side and not to see and appreciate your current environment,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “And I do admire that in Bradley.”
    • Beal blamed weight gain over the past two seasons on Couvade Syndrome, also known as “sympathetic pregnancy,” writes Quinton Mayo of NBC Sports Washington. Beal’s partner has delivered two children in the past two years. “I gained about 12-15 pounds,” he said. “Coach Brooks used to make fun of me and say my uniform was fitting a little tighter, and not in a good way. I was up at 3, 4 o’clock in the morning eating ice cream when I shouldn’t have been eating ice cream. That’s all because momma was pregnant and I had the exact same symptoms. I was craving stuff that I never had the desire to eat before.”
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    JD Shaw <![CDATA[Lakers Tie Franchise Record Season Start]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=145987 2019-12-01T02:07:30Z 2019-11-30T19:46:07Z
  • The Lakers tied a team record on Friday for the best start in franchise history, extending their current record to 17-2. The team recorded their 10th straight win with a victory over Washington, led by the likes of Anthony Davis (26 points, 13 rebounds) and LeBron James (23 points, 11 assists). “Obviously, this is a historic franchise; they have done so many great things,” Davis said, as relayed by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. “To be a part of a franchise like this is definitely amazing. I just want to leave my mark here and just keep it going. Obviously, our goal is to add another banner here. It’s something we feel like we can do, and if we do that, to be a part of that would be nothing but great.”
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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Pelicans Notes: Zion, Davis, Griffin, Gentry]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=145898 2019-11-29T23:22:46Z 2019-11-29T16:20:18Z Excitement is building in New Orleans for the debut of Zion Williamson, even though a target date hasn’t been set, writes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. The top pick in this year’s draft is recovering from meniscus surgery, and a return before Christmas is still considered possible. He is able to do partial, weight-bearing workouts, but hasn’t been cleared to take contact.

    “He’s dying to be back out here,” Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry said. “He’s taking his rehab very, very serious. He’s chomping on the bit. We’d love to have him out there because he is a game-changer. Who wouldn’t want him out there? … It’s been tough for him only to be able to play in the preseason and not play now. He’s going to be special regardless because he is a team-first guy. And team-first guys seem to succeed in this league and have an impact on their team.”

    The Pelicans are expecting Williamson to contribute right away when he does return. After a 6-12 start marked by a long string of injuries, executive vice president David Griffin said the team needs Williamson’s “energy” and “unbridled joy” for the game.

    “He’s a monster,” Jrue Holiday added. “Having Zion has been really cool. He definitely surprised me professionally. Obviously, coming from college at 19, he is a little kid at heart. But the way he handles it is like an ultimate professional.”

    There’s more from New Orleans, all from Spears:

    • Former Pelicans star and fellow No. 1 pick Anthony Davis met with Williamson when the Lakers traveled to New Orleans this week. Davis could have been Zion’s teammate, but didn’t back off from his trade request after the Pelicans won the draft lottery. “I told him to get healthy,” Davis said. “Obviously, they’re waiting on his return and they’re trying to hold on until he gets back.”
    • Gentry cites “a change of culture” since Griffin was hired to run the organization in April. The move was part of a front office overhaul that included adding Trajan Langdon as general manager and former WNBA star Swin Cash as vice president of basketball operations and team development. “The players know that everything is first class,” Gentry said. “Not that it hadn’t been before. But just the overall feeling and overall environment in a more positive way.”
    • One change that wasn’t made was on the bench, where Gentry was retained despite a 33-49 record last season and a 145-183 mark in his first four years in New Orleans. Griffin had previous experience with Gentry in Phoenix and is confident that he can eventually produce a winner. “Everybody says, ‘Why didn’t you start over with a new coach?’ ” Griffin said. “‘Well, I don’t know a lot of other coaches that I went to the conference finals with, with a roster similar to this.’ The fearless Alvin that coached the 2010 Suns to the conference finals is a different animal than he was able to be here. My job is to get to channel as much of that person as I can because that was a masterful job that I watched him do.”
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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Lakers Notes: Kuzma, Ingram, Davis]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=145855 2019-11-28T21:15:48Z 2019-11-28T20:54:18Z Kyle Kuzma continues to search for his fit on this year’s Lakers, as Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times writes.

    “It’s tough sometimes, but you just have to be positive, have an even-keeled mindset. But that’s easier said than done,” Kuzma said. “It’s something I’ve got to kind of figure out. But it isn’t anything I can’t handle.”

    Kuzma has scored 10 or fewer points in half of the 14 games he’s played this season. In 70 games last season, he scored 10 or fewer just seven times as well.

    Here’s more from Los Angeles:

    • Brandon Ingram spoke with Mark Medina of USA Today about the environment in Los Angeles last season. “The team was a little rattled. Coming in every day, it wasn’t always good,” Ingram said. “It wasn’t always good energy.” The former No. 2 overall pick was sent to New Orleans in the Anthony Davis deal.
    • The trade talks surrounding half the players on the Lakers became public last season and while it would have been better to keep the discussions out of the spotlight, Ingram says he isn’t too bothered by how everything went down. “I’ve never been in a position of GM. I don’t know how it could’ve been handled,” Ingram said (via Medina’s piece). “I know it’s hard decisions to be made. I know these decisions had to be made to make them a better team, and they’re obviously a better team this year. So I don’t know how I would’ve handled it. They had to handle it how they handled it, and it worked out great.”
    • Davis, who has been reunited with DeMarcus Cousins in Los Angeles, believes the duo could have done great things in New Orleans if they would have been given more time together, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register relays. The Pelicans allowed Cousins to leave in free agency in 2018.
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    Chris Crouse <![CDATA[Anthony Davis Quickly Adjusting To Los Angeles Spotlight]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=145850 2019-11-28T21:38:29Z 2019-11-28T18:43:35Z Playing for the Lakers comes with added attention, scrutiny and a spotlight unlike most other places in the NBA. Anthony Davis is quickly adjusting to that environment in his first year with the Lakers and he takes pride in thriving it.

    “It just shows the world,” Davis said. “I think the world didn’t believe that I was able to do the same things in ‘the spotlight.’”

    Davis and LeBron James take turns addressing the media during practices in Los Angeles. Having James on the team alleviates the pressure for Davis to speak with reporters at times and James, who is one of the most scrutinized athletes of all time, lending Davis plenty of advice since he came out west.

    “At the end of the day, we’re all human, so you have great days and sometimes you have bad days. And I think he’s handled it as well as you can, as well as any human can, and he’s enjoying the process, being in a situation like you said he hasn’t been in before,” James said. “He got some of it last year … everybody was bringing his name up, every talk show, every radio show if you watch that type of stuff, his name was being mentioned. So a lot of the attention there, and rightfully so. That’s the caliber of basketball player he is. So I think he’s handled it with a lot of gracefulness, and it’s pretty cool to be around.”

    Rajon Rondo, who played in both New Orleans and Los Angeles with Davis, believes the big man is well-suited to handle the spotlight.

    “It’s a big shock, big difference,” Rondo said. “From a media standpoint, I’m sure there were days in New Orleans where he didn’t have to talk to media even though he’s Anthony Davis. … He’s born for this. He hasn’t had it in his career but he’s born for it.”

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    Arthur Hill <![CDATA[Frank Vogel Off To Strong Start With Lakers]]> https://www.hoopsrumors.com/?p=145609 2019-11-25T18:40:56Z 2019-11-25T18:40:56Z The first month of the season has worked out far better for Lakers coach Frank Vogel than anyone could have predicted during his dysfunctional hiring process, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic.

    Vogel agreed to a three-year contract in May, but he clearly wasn’t the organization’s first choice. The Lakers chased Tyronn Lue, LeBron James‘ former coach in Cleveland, who rejected an offer after it seemed a deal was close. They also pursued Monty Williams, Anthony Davis‘ ex-coach in New Orleans, well before the trade that brought Davis to L.A.

    They finally settled on Vogel, but not without some conditions. He had to hire former Nets and Bucks head coach Jason Kidd as an assistant, fueling rumors that Kidd was waiting for his turn to take over once things started to go poorly.

    Somehow, Vogel has made the best of the situation and has the Lakers off to a league-best 14-2 start. They have bought into the defense-first reputation that Vogel developed in Indiana, ranking fourth in the league in defensive rating at 102.5 points allowed per 100 possessions and first in blocks with 7.6 per game. Vogel’s approach has helped him gain the respect of his two stars.

    “(Those Pacers teams) were always one of our toughest opponents when I was in Miami, when he was at the helm,” James said. “They were always prepared, as well as we were as well in Miami, so I knew that for sure once (general manager) Rob (Pelinka) and everyone upstairs decided to choose him to be our head coach, I knew we would be very prepared.”

    James has been an important part of the defensive turnaround, Amick adds. He has played with something to prove this season and his effort on defense has been notably different.

    The coaching staff has also developed a rapport that has quashed any talk of a mutiny, at least for now. Amick offers a reminder that former team president Magic Johnson called out coach Luke Walton after seven games last season, and Vogel could have been in the same situation if the team hadn’t been successful right away.

    “Some people might be saying (Kidd) is gunning for his job, (but) I see a family approach,” veteran swingman Jared Dudley observed. “I see them laughing. I see Vogel laughing with Kidd and Lionel Hollins. You see how they all have their own role. …Obviously Vogel’s a big defensive guy, (so) you have (him) breaking down the opponents. Phil Handy, going over certain personnel. (You have) Jason Kidd, because of familiarity with certain players. … When he speaks offense you’re more keen. You’d think that would be a little rocky trying to figure people out man, but he’s a player’s coach. He asks for opinions. He said ‘This is what I like to do, what are your guys’ views on it, and eventually he makes a decision.’

    “… So for me, I couldn’t even imagine it even getting better. I was just shocked how smooth of a transition it was, not only for the coaching staff but for the coaching staff relating to the players. I think it’s been phenomenal.”

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