Michael Frazier

Pacific Notes: Kerr, Frazier, Eddie, Lakers

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who is currently on a leave of absence while recovering from two offseason back surgeries, hopes to make his return to the bench prior to January, Janie McCauley of The Associated Press writes. “I am feeling better, so that’s the good news. The bad news is I’m not feeling well enough to coach yet,” Kerr said. “It’s hard because I don’t know when that will be. There’s no timetable. It’s not a sprained ankle, two-to-four weeks type thing. When I feel better, I’ll feel better. It’s very frustrating but I am improving. I’m able to physically work out now, which has helped quite a bit the last couple weeks. But I know I’m not healthy enough yet to do this. It’s a demanding job and it wouldn’t be fair to the team and it wouldn’t be smart for me. We’ll see.

Here’s the latest from the Pacific Division:

  • Shooting guard Michael Frazier, who was waived by the Lakers last week, has signed with the team’s D-League affiliate, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (via Twitter).
  • Jarell Eddie will rejoin the Austin Spurs, San Antonio’s D-League affiliate, Adam Johnson of D-League Digest relays (Twitter link). Eddie was waived by the Warriors this past Friday.
  • Lakers coach Byron Scott said that it was an agonizing decision to choose between Jabari Brown and Metta World Peace for the team’s final roster spot, which ultimately went to World Peace, Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com writes. Scott called it a “very, very, very … difficult decision” to waive Brown and added that “It was probably the most difficult cut that I’ve ever had to make,” Holmes notes. But Scott added that with such a young roster, it was important to add a veteran who could mentor the team’s plethora of younger players, the ESPN scribe relays.

Pacific Notes: Karl, Lakers, Upshaw, Frazier

Kings minority owners would be reluctant to pay the salary of yet another fired coach, Grantland’s Zach Lowe hears, suggesting George Karl‘s job is safe. The minority owners have talked about their frustrations over Ranadive’s management of the team, though they don’t have the power to usurp his decision-making unless Ranadive sells, Lowe adds.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Robert Upshaw has cleared waivers and will sign with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the D-League affiliate of the Lakers, Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reports (Twitter link). The Lakers waived Upshaw earlier this week.
  • Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link) hears that Michael Frazier will be signing with the Lakers‘ D-League affiliate as well.
  • The Lakers currently have 16 players under contract, as our Roster Count page shows, and Metta World Peace is one of four players on a non-guaranteed deal. The team is embracing the 35-year-old’s presence and his role as a mentor may help him to make the opening night roster,  Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News writes. “We’re a better team with Metta,” said Julius Randle, who praised World Peace for teaching him about offensive and defensive rotations, footwork, mental preparation and playing off the ball. “It’s not our decision if he’s on the team or not. But Metta’s knowledge and wisdom that he brings to this team is amazing. It’s fun playing with him.”

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post

Lakers Notes: Buss, Upshaw, Frazier, Roster

Lakers executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss admits his pitches to free agents in recent years have lacked oomph because he couldn’t promise them immediate success, but he’s confident he has the core in place now to change that, as he explains to Sam Amick of USA Today. Buss is particularly high on No. 2 pick D’Angelo Russell, Amick notes.

“I think we’ve done a great job [rebuilding],” Buss said. “Yeah, I think we’re in dynamite position. Not good position – dynamite. I think we’ve turned the corner. I don’t know if you discount that terminology, ‘turn the corner.’ But when you’re headed down the wrong road, and you can finally get off that road and turn the corner, that’s huge in my opinion.”

Buss set a timeline for turning the Lakers around that his sister Jeanie, the team’s primary owner, interprets as a mandate to get to the Western Conference Finals by 2017, and he believes the team is ahead of schedule and just needs to land a major free agent this summer, as Amick details. See more on Buss and the Lakers:

  • Warriors consultant Jerry West thinks the criticism of Buss is off-base, as he tells Amick for the same story. “He’s really smart … but he’s the easiest target there is,” West said of Buss. “And I will tell you, it’s grossly unfair sometimes. Grossly unfair. It’s almost like they want him to be a reincarnation of his dad, but he can’t.”
  • Issues surrounding Robert Upshaw “that go beyond talent” proved too worrisome for the Lakers, who waived the big man today, tweets Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times, though whatever the issues are, they aren’t outrageous, Pincus cautions. Coach Byron Scott cited a “big-time learning curve on both ends” for Upshaw, according to Times colleague Mike Bresnahan (Twitter link). In any case, Scott said the Lakers hope Upshaw and Michael Frazier, whom they also cut today, clear waivers and sign with the team’s D-League affiliate, notes Bill Oram of the Orange County Register (on Twitter).
  • Both Bresnahan and Oram speculate that Metta World Peace and Jabari Brown are on the bubble for the last regular season roster spot on the Lakers, with Bresnahan suggesting that World Peace has a slight lead (Twitter links).

Lakers Waive Robert Upshaw, Michael Frazier

The Lakers have waived Robert Upshaw and Michael Frazier to drop their roster to 17 players, the team announced. Upshaw, a troubled but intriguing prospect, has a $35K partial guarantee while Frazier is assured of $50K. The Lakers will be responsible for those amounts if they clear waivers. The team still has 12 fully guaranteed contracts plus five more without full guarantees, so more decisions await before the team has to cut down to 15 players for opening night.

It appeared Upshaw would sign with the Lakers much sooner than he did this past offseason as he continued to deal with personal matters. Both Fresno State and Washington dismissed the now 21-year-old center as he dealt with substance abuse issues, and he went undrafted this past June in spite of talent that would suggest he would have merited a pick. He struggled on offense, as Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times points out (Twitter link), averaging just 2.5 points in 14.1 points per game across four preseason appearances, laying to rest speculation that he would beat out Robert Sacre, who has a fully guaranteed salary, for a regular season roster spot.

Frazier, 21, also struggled to score in his four preseason games, posting 2.0 PPG in 13.4 MPG. The shooting guard went undrafted out of Florida this year, though he was the 55th-best prospect, according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com.

Tarik Black, Jabari Brown, Marcelo Huertas and Metta World Peace are still with the Lakers on non-guaranteed deals, while Jonathan Holmes has a partial guarantee worth $100K. Holmes dislocated his right shoulder during Monday’s game, and he’ll be immobilized for the next couple of weeks, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times. The partial guarantee covers about a month’s worth of games, but if he’s still unable to play after that, the Lakers will have to shell out more of his salary until he’s able to play, regardless of whether they waive him, as Pincus explains.

Who do you think the Lakers should keep for opening night? Leave a comment to let us know.

Lakers Sign Michael Frazier

AUGUST 25TH, 1:22pm: The deal is official, the team announced.

AUGUST 16TH, 4:33pm: The Lakers have reached a contract agreement with Florida’s Michael Frazier, agent Matt Ramker told Adam Silverstein of OnlyGators.com. Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders is hearing it is a two-year, minimum-salary deal with a partial guarantee for $50K (Twitter link).

Frazier weighed his options with the Jazz and Sixers before deciding on the deal with the Lakers, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets.

The team signed Jonathan Holmes to a similar deal on Thursday. In addition, Tarik Black, Jabari Brown and Robert Upshaw are expected to battle for two to three open roster spots, tweets former Nets executive Bobby Marks.

The 6’4″ Frazier, who left school as a junior, was not selected in June’s draft. As a sophomore, he set a school record with 118 3-pointers in a season as the Gators reached the Final Four, but missed part of his junior season with a high ankle sprain.

And-Ones: Celtics, Bulls, Rodriguez, Frazier

The Celtics are reportedly trying to move out of the No. 28th spot in the draft in an effort to gain more cap flexibility, according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders (Twitter Link). Earlier today, it was reported that the team would like to move up in the draft in order to select Myles Turner. Boston also owns the No.16 overall pick, so perhaps it could dangle both picks to a team drafting in the back-end of the lottery, which is where Turner is expected to be selected.

Here’s more from around the league on the last day of spring:

  • Sergio Rodriguez is not contemplating the possibility of making the jump to the NBA, barring an offer he cannot refuse, according to Marca.com (Translation by HoopsHype.com). It was previously reported that the point guard planned to try and secure an NBA deal this summer.
  • Tom Thibodeau and his coaching staff reportedly lobbied for Draymond Green to be the No.29 overall selection in the 2012 draft instead of Marquis Teague, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Since taking over for Thibodeau, Fred Hoiberg has immersed himself in the Bulls’ draft process, according to Johnson in the same piece. Hoiberg is also working finalize his staff with Pete Myers, Ed Pinckney, Mike Wilhelm and video coordinator Charlie Henry.
  • Michael Frazier will work out for the Sixers, Hawks and Rockets, according to Antonya English and Bob Putnam of the Tampa Bay Times. The former Gator has previously worked out for 11 other  teams.

Pacific Notes: Stephenson, Kings, Towns

The Clippers‘ newly acquired swingman Lance Stephenson is well aware of his negative locker room reputation around the league, and he intends to change that perception this season, Arash Markazi of ESPN.com writes. “I’m going to work hard this season to get those rumors out,” Stephenson said. “That’s not the issue. I’m very good in the locker room. You can ask all the players that I’ve played with. You can ask the coaches. I’m very good in the locker room. When I’m on the court I got that type of energy where it looks like I’m yelling at somebody. But when I talk to my teammates it amps them and makes them work harder. I want to take that [negative] title off my name because that’s not me. I’m a good locker room guy.” Stephenson also indicated that he would be fine with coming off the bench, something that coach/executive Doc Rivers has suggested would be the case.

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Kings will host workouts on Monday for Askia Booker (Colorado), Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin), T.J. McConnell (Arizona), and Brad Wadlow (St. Mary’s), the team announced. On Tuesday, the team will bring in Mike Caffey (Long Beach State), Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), Duje Dukan (Wisconsin), Rondae-Hollis Jefferson (Arizona), and Juwan Staten (West Virginia). Finally, Wednesday will see Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky) and Cameron Payne (Murray State) displaying their wares for Sacramento.
  • The Lakers have been unsuccessful thus far in getting Kentucky big man Karl-Anthony Towns in for a workout, and the team is doubtful that will change prior to the draft, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News tweets. This resistance from Towns to meet with the Lakers could be due to a draft promise from the Timberwolves, though that is merely my speculation.
  • The Lakers brought in Michael Frazier (Florida) as part of a group workout held today, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops relays (Twitter link). Also part of today’s workout were Terry Rozier (Louisville), Andrew Harrison (Kentucky), Marcus Thornton (Georgia), Larry Nance Jr. (Wyoming), and Sir’Dominic Pointer (St. John’s), Eric Pincus of The Los Angeles Times notes.

Western Notes: Aldridge, Porzingis, Gordon

The Lakers worked out Latvian forward Kristaps Porzingis on Monday, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports relays. Porzingis takes issue with scouts labeling him a finesse player or discounting him as another potential European bust, the Yahoo! scribe adds. “I don’t like being labeled soft,” Porzingis told Wojnarowski. “I’m very hungry. I love the game. I’ve got to prove to coaches and GMs that I’m not soft just because I’m from Europe. They need to see that I’m not just some skinny white guy, that I’m going to be there fighting. They’ll need to see that I’m a worker who’s going to play hard, and play tough. There are guys who have had incredible NBA careers – like Dirk Nowitzki and the Gasols [Pau and Marc] – and there are guys who haven’t. They’ll say, this guy is a bust. He’ll be Nikoloz Tskitishvili, this Georgian guy. Andrea Bargnani, Darko Milicic … That’s why I am talking, because I want the fear to go away with me. I want people to get to know me. I don’t want to be the mystery man from Europe.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • Despite the reports relaying that Eric Gordon is likely to exercise his player option worth more than $15.514MM to stay with the Pelicans for next season, the 26-year-old guard has scoured the NBA market for a potential long-term deal outside of New Orleans, Shams Charania of RealGM reports. According to league sources, Gordon has been seeking four or five year contract possibilities with other teams, Charania notes.
  • The Lakers are a “distant third” in the running to lure LaMarcus Aldridge away from Portland, behind the Mavs, who are the favorites, and the Spurs, as Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher says in a video report. Bucher cites Aldridge’s strong relationship with former Blazers interim head coach Kaleb Canales, now a Mavs assistant, as reason to think Dallas holds appeal for the power forward, though Bucher speculates that Aldridge will ultimately chooses to re-sign with the Blazers.
  • The Jazz held pre-draft workouts today for J.J. Avila (Colorado State), Michael Frazier (Florida), Damarcus Harrison (Clemson), Youssou Ndoye (St. Bonaventure), Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga), and Travis Trice (Michigan State), the team announced (on Twitter).
  • The Clippers will bring in Damontre Harris (South Carolina) and Michale Kyser (Louisiana Tech) as part of a group workout on Wednesday, Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops tweets.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Central Notes: Pistons, Draft, Rozier

Pistons executive/coach Stan Van Gundy believes that the trade market and NBA Draft are the franchise’s best opportunities to build a contender, Noah Trister of The Associated Press relays. “I think free agency is a little bit of a crapshoot. Guys, they’re out there picking a team. A lot of teams are chasing them,” Van Gundy said. “You never know what’s going to happen, and so, we said coming in that as much as we would go out and try to be players in free agency, [a] great path for us to building a team is through … the draft and trades.” Van Gundy doesn’t anticipate the acquisition of Ersan Ilyasova being the move that makes the team a contender, but rather as another step in a long process, Trister adds. “We’ve got two more years under contract with Ersan – those kinds of things are invaluable to us as we’re building,” Van Gundy continued. “I think as we build and get better, then obviously we become more attractive to free agents. But right now, quite honestly, coming off a tough year, the whole thing, this is a better path for us.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons held workouts on Monday for Stanley Johnson (Arizona), Michael Frazier (Florida), Wayne Blackshear (Louisville), and Terran Petteway (Nebraska), the team announced (via Twitter). This was Petteway’s second workout with Detroit, which could make him a potential second round target of the team, notes Vincent Ellis of The Detroit Free Press (on Twitter).
  • Working out for the Pistons today were Justise Winslow (Duke), Bryce Dejean-Jones (Iowa State), Branden Dawson (Michigan State), and Jabril Trawick (Georgetown), the team announced (Twitter link).
  • The Bucks held workouts today for Justin Anderson (Virginia), Montrezl Harrell (Louisville), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), and R.J. Hunter (Georgia State), Gery Woelfel of The Racine Journal Times tweets. Milwaukee also announced that Derrick Marks (Boise State) and Royce O’Neale (Baylor) would also be participating.
  • The Bulls have met with Louisville point guard Terry Rozier three times already, and may have him back for a fourth go around prior to the NBA Draft, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders notes. Chicago owns the No. 23 overall selection.

Pacific Notes: D’Alessandro, Lakers, Suns

With former GM Pete D’Alessandro on his way to a front office post with the Nuggets, Kings executive Vlade Divac is interested in Ryan West, the Lakers‘ assistant director of scouting, Sam Amick of USA Today relays (Twitter links). West is the son of former Lakers great Jerry West, and the younger West has been close with Divac since the big man’s playing days in Los Angeles, Amick notes. The Lakers have been grooming West as a potential replacement for GM Mitch Kupchak, so the Kings may have competition for his services, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.

Here’s more out of the NBA’s Pacific Division:

  • The L.A. D-Fenders, the Lakers‘ D-League affiliate, have named Conner Henry as the team’s new head coach, Pincus tweets.
  • The Suns held pre-draft workouts today for Ousmane Drame (Quinnipiac), Michael Frazier (Florida), Phil Greene (St. John’s), Jonathan Holmes (Texas), Cady Lalanne (Massachusetts), and Aaron White (Iowa), Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reports (Twitter link).
  • In discussing the Lakers‘ options with the No. 2 overall pick this June, Kupchak indicated that the team still hasn’t decided on a big man or a guard as its preference, Joey Ramirez of NBA.com relays. “You go back to the [Hakeem] Olajuwon, [Sam] Bowie, Michael Jordan draft. And in years past and maybe even today, it makes sense to build around a big,” Kupchak said. “But you don’t want to take a big because it’s a big and pass up on the No. 3 pick, which turned out to be Michael Jordan. So we’re going to look at the bigs and the guards and see if there’s a guard there that — despite being just a guard — you don’t want to pass on him.
  • Kupchak also indicated that Lakers star Kobe Bryant won’t have any impact on who the team selects in the Draft, Ramirez adds. “I don’t think it’s that big a factor,” Kupchak said. “Kobe is going to have a presence in training camp, and I’m sure he’ll try to impart his approach to the game on the players in camp. He’s never been great with rookies, and rookies have come to expect Kobe’s glare and ignoring them in the locker room and saying things.