From Ramona Shelburne, ESPN LA: The Los Angeles Lakers, whose plan to re-sign center Dwight Howard did not pan out this offseason, are looking at adding LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony – among others in a star-studded 2014 free-agent class — front-office sources have told ESPN. Opinions are split on whether the Lakers can actually land James or Anthony, with one source calling it “realistic” and another saying it was “far-fetched at this point.” Nonetheless, the Lakers have made it clear they are positioning themselves for a run at one and perhaps even two of the superstars who could become free agents in 2014 by refusing to commit to any contract past this upcoming season, multiple sources have said.
From Mark Heisler, Lakers Nation: Update from LAX: no Bron sightings, yet. If Laker fans aren’t incredulous at the notion of LeBron James either leaving $110 million in Miami for $88 million with the Lakers to play with Kobe Bryant, who has to show he’s still Kobe, and would re-up cheap… you should be. Of course, who thought Bron would agree to take $27 million less to leave Cleveland in 2010? Who thought Bron and Dwyane Wade would ever choose to play together? Who anticipated the Heat would stun the NBA by clearing room for three max players instead of two? And who will have even more cap room in 2014 than Miami did in 2010?
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: The Lakers signed point guard Jordan Farmar to a one-year, $1.1-million contract after agreeing to a buyout with his pro team in Turkey. Farmar rejoins the Lakers three years after leaving them as a free agent. He subsequently played two years for the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn), averaging 9.9 points and 4.4 assists, before spending last season with Anadolu Efes. The buyout in Farmar’s deal was $500,000, and the Lakers paid the entire bill. The Lakers have now signed free agents Chris Kaman, Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and Farmar after losing Dwight Howard to Houston and waiving Metta World Peace via the one-time amnesty provision.
From Kurt Helin, Pro Basketball Talk: How Houston incorporates Dwight Howard into their offense is going to be interesting. Here are two facts to dwell on: 1) The Houston Rockets played at the fastest pace in the NBA last season. They averaged 98.6 possessions per game, which was faster than the Nuggets (97.8), faster than the Warriors (96.8), faster than everyone. They were a fast break team that ran a lot of pick-and-roll. 2) Dwight Howard didn’t enjoy running the up-tempo, pick-and-roll heavy offense of Mike D’Antoni wanted to install with the Lakers last season. D’Antoni emphasized that point and told the Los Angeles Daily News he isn’t sure Howard is going to be a great fit in Houston.
From Drew Garrison, Silver Screen & Roll: Kurt Rambis is close to joining the Los Angeles Lakers as an assistant coach under Mike D’Antoni, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. Rambis has been at summer league and has been seen sitting Dan D’Antoni, Mitch Kupchak, Jim Buss and Mike D’Antoni. Photo evidence you say? Here’s a picture from Las Vegas Summer League. When asked about his status in joining the Lakers coaching staff on Sunday, Rambis looked over both of his shoulders, laughed and replied no. However, he was with the team in the locker room after the Lakers 77-65 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. Rambis was a lead assistant under Phil Jackson. He was a key in the Lakers adjusting their defensive philosophies after the 2008 NBA Finals. He is currently featured on Time Warner Cable Sportsnet’s Lakers coverage, providing pre-game, halftime and post-game analysis. Rambis would join Mark Madsen as a new addition to D’Antoni’s coaching staff.