Archives For Laker News

Early this morning, it was reported that the Lakers would be signing Alex Caruso to a contract. This was the first report I, personally, saw:

Ramona Shelburne is reporting further details, noting it will be a 2-year contract and one of the NBA’s new “two-way” deals which allows a player to shuffle between a parent club and their G-League affiliate. In this case, then, Caruso will likely spend most of his time with the South Bay Lakers, though could get an opportunity with the Lakers for stretches.

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When it was originally reported that the Lakers had agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, one of my first thoughts was “that is more money than they have in cap space”. Well, it turns out, in order to get closer to that amount the team was going to have to clear a little bit of salary.

That happened today when the team announced they’d waived David Nwaba. Nwaba’s contract for next season was just picked before the start of free agency, but his salary for next season was actually not guaranteed if he was waived before January 10, 2018 according to Eric Pincus at Basketball Insiders. This gave the team some wiggle room to execute a move just like this one, should they need a hair of extra cap space to give to a free agent.

The question now, however, is whether Nwaba will be back on the team soon should he clear waivers. Again, here’s Pincus, via twitter:

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On the final play of regulation of Friday’s overtime loss to the Clippers at the Las Vegas Summer League, Brandon Ingram elevated for a jumper over two defenders and had his shot carom off the rim. After the miss, he sat on the ground for an extended period, holding his leg with the trainers coming to check on him shortly after. It was not something Lakers fans wanted to see.

However, that fear was quickly erased after it was determined Ingram was only dealing with cramps. Post-game, he said he wanted to go back in, but President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson put the kibosh on that. Ingram sat and watched his team fall in OT. And now, he’ll sit for the remainder of the Lakers games in Vegas, too:

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While the Lakers have not been active in signing any outside free agents, they have made a decision to turn one of their own players loose onto the open market.

Black was scheduled to make $6.7 million next season, but the entire amount was non-guaranteed if he was waived before July 4th. This amount now drops off the Lakers’ cap, leaving them with roughly $18.7 million in cap space now.

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The Lakers have announced they have picked up the team option on David Nwaba’s contract for the 2017-18 season. Nwaba is set to earn $1.3 million next season and, depending on what happens with the team’s depth chart, should be able to compete for minutes as a 4th or 5th guard in the rotation.

Nwaba had a fine close to the season last year after being called up from the D-League and signed to a 10-day contract. After signing a second 10-day deal, Nwaba stuck for the remaining of the season by signing a two year contract — with the option that was just picked up representing the 2nd year of that deal.

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After trading the #28 pick for the #30 and #42 picks, the Lakers selected University of Indiana C Thomas Bryant at #42. Bryant, a sophomore big man, averaged 12.6 points and 6.6 rebounds a game in a solid season individually (but one that did not have a lot of team success for the Hoosiers).

I am by no means an expert on Bryant, but the first thing that stands out to me when looking at his profile and watching some clips on him are his physical tools and how that translates to his game. Simply put, at nearly 6’11 and 248 pounds with a 7’6″ wingspan and a 9’4.5″ standing reach, this guy has an NBA physique that allowed him to overpower college athletes offensively and impact the game defensively.

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After trading the #28 pick to the Utah Jazz for the #30 and #42 picks, the Lakers selected Villanova SG Josh Hart at #30.

Hart, at 22 years old and 4 year player at ‘Nova, offers a complete skill set, good size (6’5″, 209 pounds, and a 6’8″ wingspan), high character, and a reputation as a “winner” for his contributions to the 2016 NCAA Championship Wildcats team. Last season Hart also pulled off a nice double-double by being named the player and defensive player of year for the Big East while also being named as a 3rd Team All-American.

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With the 27th pick — aka the pick the team got as part of the D’Angelo Russell trade — the Lakers selected University of Utah PF Kyle Kuzma.

I’d be lying if said I knew much about Kuzma, but he’s got good physical tools — measuring at 6’9″ with a 7′ wingspan. At a little over 220 pounds, he’s not the bulkiest player, but he’s labeled as a smooth athlete who has a rangy offensive game with some real defensive ability.

Kuzma has some “stretch” potential at PF, but will need to improve on his 32.1% from distance he posted last season in college. Where he can excel, however, is as a ball mover the half court and as a finisher in transition leveraging his quickness and athleticism to change ends quickly. Per scouting reports, he’s a good passer and a plus rebounder averaging 2.4 assists and 9 rebounds a game last season.

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