Archives For rumor mill

Considering he’s not even a member of the Lakers, we’ve written plenty about Paul George in these parts. I guess that what happens when there is, supposedly, a mutual affection between team and player to the point that the rumor mill continues to churn.

And churn it does.

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UPDATE: Jose Calderon has officially been waived. Terms of the buyout were not released, but the team issued a press release confirming the move. Calderon must clear waivers before he would become a free agent who could sign with any team. It is believe he will sign with the Warriors once that occurs. Read below for my original analysis when this was being reported as possible

Even though the trade deadline has come and gone, the Lakers may not be done changing their roster construct. ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Lakers and Jose Calderon are discussing the potential of a buyout. From Stein’s report:

Los Angeles Lakers guard Jose Calderon has emerged as a potential candidate to join the NBA’s annual March buyout market, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears.

As Stein notes, the deadline for when players need to be released in order to be playoff eligible for a different team is this upcoming Wednesday. Players don’t need to be signed to their new team by that point, but they must be released. For the Lakers and Calderon, it may be mutually beneficial for them to find common ground simply because Calderon is not a rotation player and the Lakers may be better off with an open roster spot to pursue their own additions before the season ends.

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Trade Deadline Day Thread

Darius Soriano —  February 23, 2017

It’s one of the best days of the year for NBA fans – Trade Deadline Day! Rumors will be flying, players will be changing teams, and we will all be refreshing our twitter feeds waiting for the next Woj Bomb. I love it.

The deals have already started, in fact. The Mavs are reportedly trading Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson, and a 1st round pick to the Sixers for Nerlens Noel. This is a good move for the Mavs and some nice value for the Sixers for Noel. We have to see the protections on the pick, but a young player and Bogut (who could be bought out or traded again) is a good package.

As for the Lakers, things are sort of quiet, which is normal for them at this time of year — but now that a new regime is in place I don’t think we can assume this is a normal year. On Wednesday, the idea was floated that the team had made inquiries on Paul George, though there were not details as to whether an offer was made. Today, there are reports that the Celtics are in discussions with the Pacers for the All-Star forward and that the C’s are willing to include this year’s pick from the Nets (which could end up being 1st overall).

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It’s no secret the Lakers have been active in the trade market this season. They were apparently interested in DeMarcus Cousins before he was dealt to the Pelicans and have also been mentioned as a team who is willing to trade off one or more of their veteran players for an asset which has more long term appeal.

The player whose name is most often mentioned as “on the block” is Lou Williams, a key performer for the Lakers all year who is under contract through next season at a very reasonable price tag. Williams is having his best season as a pro and the Lakers are seemingly ready to cash in on that value when it’s at its peak. As Pete and I discussed on the most recent Laker Film Room Podcast, one team which has been linked to Williams is the Washington Wizards.

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I’ve never seen a player actually be in the All-Star game and then get traded within an hour of when that game ended, but that’s exactly what happened Sunday night when the Kings dealt DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans for a package which is being widely mocked around the league.

Stemming from that deal was the report the Lakers were discussing a deal for Cousins themselves before refusing to include Brandon Ingram. In the latest episode of the Laker Film Room Podcast, Pete and I discuss that Lakers’ decision, trade rumors¬†focusing on Lou Williams, and what types of deals the team should explore heading into Thursday’s trade deadline.

Click through to listen the episode.

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In a bit of a twist I certainly did not see coming, the Lakers have worked out former Rockets big man Donatas Motiejunas. From ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne:

The Los Angeles Lakers have auditioned free-agent big man Donatas Motiejunas within the past week, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that the Lakers brought Motiejunas in before Christmas to work out in front of the front office and coaching staff, but it remains unclear whether they’ll go ahead with signing the former first-round pick.

Apparently, the hold up in potentially offering Montiejunas a contract has to do with the current depth in the front court and how that might disrupt current roles:

But sources said the Lakers are weighing whether there are enough minutes to go around, with the blossoming Julius Randle and Tarik Black playing the bulk of the frontcourt minutes while Nance is out.

The fact that the Lakers are still kicking the tires on available players and looking to add talent is a good thing. Regardless of how much they like the construction of the current team, adding talented players who fit the team’s scheme should always be on the table — and Montiejunas certainly fits that description.

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Coach World Peace?

Darius Soriano —  October 21, 2016

The Lakers still have two cuts to make before getting down to the roster maximum of 15 before the regular season. We have covered this ground already, so I won’t bore you with more¬†words on the case for keeping the the guys on the bubble. Just know that this is likely a choice between Yi Jianlian, Thomas Robinson, and Metta World Peace.

Well, according to Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, maybe Metta isn’t really in the mix for that final spot. Because, if he really were, I doubt they would already be looking at him as a potential assistant coach if he gets cut. From the ESPN dynamic duo:

The odds are against Metta World Peace making the Los Angeles Lakers’ Opening Night roster, but the Lakers have interest in keeping the veteran forward around as an assistant coach if they can’t make room for him as an active player, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN.com that World Peace’s impact as a mentor to young players last season was a big reason they invited him to training camp again under new coach Luke Walton.

This is the role many hoped for Metta last year, but Metta made the team as the final add when Bryon Scott, in what he called a very difficult decision, made Jabari Brown the final cut of the preseason. The argument then is the same one it is now: that if the value you are extracting from the player is almost entirely as a mentor, then using a roster spot on him is a misallocation of resources.

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After a Marc Stein report Tuesday evening stated the Lakers and former lottery pick Yi Jianlian were in advanced talks, there are now reports coming out of China that the deal is done. Our thoughts on how Jianlian fits on the Lakers haven’t really changed — the skill set is solid and a role could be carved out, but that likely comes at the expense of young players the Lakers should be more focused.

But it seems a new wrinkle may impact how this signing could be viewed. Namely, what Yi will be paid. It was originally thought a minimum contract would be agreed upon. As Eric Pincus notes, for a player with 5 years NBA experience, that amount would be roughly $1.14 million. However, back in 2015, Yi signed a contract extension with the Guangdong Tigers which would pay him roughly $3.2 million a season for 5 seasons.

It would seem strange, then, that he would come back to the states to make roughly one-third that amount, even if it did mean playing in the best league in the world. I mean, why would anyone do that? Well, it seems like they wouldn’t. I bet they would for over double that amount, though:

Yeah, one year, $8 million would probably do it.

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