Lakers’ Byron Scott said team will build “with” Jordan Clarkson instead of “around”

Lakers' Jordan Clarkson goes to the hoop against the Trail Blazers' Robin Lopez, Friday, April 3, 2015, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson goes to the hoop against the Trail Blazers’ Robin Lopez, Friday, April 3, 2015, at Staples Center. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)

The compliments gushed out of Byron Scott’s mouth, perhaps as quickly as takes Jordan Clarkson to run up the court and score.

Scott said that Clarkson “single-handedly got us back in the game,” his team-high 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting, seven rebounds and five assists perhaps the lone bright spot in the Lakers’ 107-77 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday at Staples Center. Scott noted how Clarkson became vocal with unnamed teammates for their poor effort. Scott defended Clarkson, arguing Portland guard Damian Lillard’s 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting had more to do with the Lakers’ team defense than any of Clarkson’s defensive miscues.

Add it all up, and Scott revealed it feels “exciting” to how the 22-year-old Clarkson has “shown me a little bit more growth as a basketball player” nearly every game. Yet, it appears Clarkson’s ceilings could have limitations.

“We know he’s going to be on our team next year,” Scott said, referring to Clarkson’s team option for the 2015-16 season worth a relatively inexpensive $845,059. “But we have to add pieces. There’s no doubt about that. I don’t think we necessarily are saying we’re building around him. But we’re adding pieces with him.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson named Western Conference Rookie of the Month

The Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson, who scored a game-high 26 points, goes up for a shot. matt slocum – the associated press

The Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson, who scored a game-high 26 points, goes up for a shot. matt slocum – the associated press

The NBA has strongly noticed how quickly Lakers rookie guard Jordan Clarkson has grown.

Clarkson was named the NBA’s Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games in March, an honor that makes him the first ever Lakers player to be honored with the award since it was first presented in 1981-82.

“I think it’s great,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “It shows the progress he has made and what a hard work he’s put into it.”

Clarkson averaged a team-leading 15.8 points on 45.2 percent shooting, 5.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds through 16 games in March. Clarkson, whom the Lakers secured through the 46th pick, also secured wins last week in Minnesota (free throws) and Philadelphia (layup). Against the Sixers, Clarkson joined Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Washington’s John Wall and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook as the only players in the NBA this season to post 26 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and three steals in a game. In last week’s loss in Oklahoma City, Clarkson also posted career-highs in points (30) and blocks (three), making him the first Lakers rookie to score 30 points in a game since Eddie Jones achieved the same accomplishment on Feb. 4, 1995.

Overall, Clarkson ranks third among rookies in points per game (10.9), field goal percentage (44.7) and free throw percentage (82.8)

“The game is slowing down for him,” Scott said of Clarkson. “He sees it a little bit clearer now. It’s not such a blur to him. We still have to work on his change of speeds and change of pace at times. But for the most part, we’re seeing plays now that are starting to happen. Earlier in the season, it would happen. But it was over with before we saw what was really going on. Now he has a pretty good grasp of what’s going on. He’s seeing the man when he’s open and he’s delivering the ball at the right time in the right place.”

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers sign Dwight Buycks to a 10-day contract

The Lakers signed 6-foot-3, 190-pound guard Dwight Buycks to fill out their injury-depleted roster.

Lakers coach Byron Scott anticipated Buycks playing in Friday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center only if the team’s backcourt fell into foul trouble. But it seems more likely Buycks will have minutes off the bench beginning Sunday in a designated home game against the Clippers at Staples Center.

Scott professed not to know much about Buycks after he had extensive stops this past both overseas (Valencia Basket of Spanish ACB League, Tianjiin Ronggang of Chinese Basketball Association) and the Development League (Oklahoma City Blue). But Scott said his son, Thomas, the Lakers player development coach, provided plenty of feedback.

“A very solid basketball player and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes,” Scott said. “He defends really well and makes open shots. He does a good job of running the team.”

The Lakers made this move after the NBA approved a hardship exception because of season-ending and long-term injuries to Kobe Bryant (right shoulder), Steve Nash (back), Julius Randle (right leg), Ronnie Price (right elbow), Nick Young (left knee) and Wayne Ellington (right shoulder).

Scott called Buycks “primarily a point guard,” but noted he will also play at shooting guard. The Lakers’ backcourt currently includes Jordan Clarkson, Jeremy Lin and Jabari Brown.

“I’m a hard worker,” Buycks said. “I come out there and do what the coach asks and try to make the guys around me better. I’ll pick and choose when my shot is there. But other than, I’m just about playing tough.”

RELATED:

TWC SportsNet panel discusses Julius Randle’s recovery

TWC SportsNet panel discusses Wayne Ellington’s shoulder injury

Lakers’ Byron Scott downplays being one defeat away from tying last year’s loss total

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

TWC SportsNet panel discusses Julius Randle’s recovery

His NBA rookie debut lasted slightly less than 14 minutes before Julius Randle suffered something that has become uncomfortably familiar with the Lakers.

Randle suffered an injury, a fractured tibia in his right leg that kept him out for the 2014-15 season. Since then, Randle has made some slow and steady progress that has entailed completing non-contact drills for the past three weeks.

Time Warner Cable’s Access SportsNet host Kelli Tennant, analyst Dave Miller and I discussed Randle’s recovery, part of which included his desire to keep learning.

RELATED:

TWC SportsNet panel discusses Wayne Ellington’s shoulder injury

Lakers’ Byron Scott downplays being one defeat away from tying last year’s loss total

Lakers’ Julius Randle embraces learning during lengthy recovery

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers’ Byron Scott believes Wayne Ellington’s shoulder will heal by sometime in May

Lakers Wayne Ellington forces Dallas´ Monta Ellis down during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, March 8, 2015. Dallas defeated the Lakers 100-93. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News )

Lakers Wayne Ellington forces Dallas´ Monta Ellis down during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, March 8, 2015. Dallas defeated the Lakers 100-93. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News )

Shortly after Lakers guard Wayne Ellington encountered a collision in the waning seconds of Thursday’s loss to New Orleans at Staples Center, coach Byron Scott gave him some feedback both to break the ice and add a dose of honesty.

In a half-joking manner, Scott told Ellington, ” You’re done for the season. You do know that.”

An MRI taken on Thursday later confirmed a grade 1 separation in Ellington’s right shoulder, an injury that will indeed sideline him for the eight remaining games, including when the Lakers (20-54) host the Portland Trail Blazers (48-26) on Friday at Staples Center.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” Scott said. “I was disappointed for him because he had such a great season and had been such a great pro. I’m sure he wanted to finish it out.”

Yet, Scott said that Ellington will likely fully heal his shoulder by sometime next month, something that should assuage his concerns when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in July. The Lakers will mostly prioritize their offseason needs through the NBA draft and chasing marquee free agents. But Scott said the Lakers would “absolutely” consider re-signing Ellington for various reasons.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers to add another D-League player

Lakers head coach Byron Scott finds himsel in a similar situation to the one he experience before as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lakers take on Caves Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on ABC. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)

Lakers head coach Byron Scott finds himsel in a similar situation to the one he experience before as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lakers take on Caves Sunday at 12:30 p.m. on ABC. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)

A little less than two weeks remain in the Lakers’ 2014-15 season, and they still are making changes to their fledgling roster.

Lakers coach Byron Scott said they are nearing a deal with an unnamed player from the Development League amid season-ending and long-term injuries. That includes Kobe Bryant (right shoulder), Steve Nash (back), Julius Randle (right leg), Xavier Henry (left Achilles tendon), Ronnie Price (right elbow), Nick Young (left knee) and Wayne Ellington (right shoulder). Because of that, the Lakers asked the NBA for a hardship exception. That tool gives the Lakers’ flexibility to increase their roster size to 16 since four players are out with injury.

Assuming the Lakers sign the player, Scott said there is a “possibility” he will suit up when the Lakers (20-54) host the Portland Trail Blazers (48-26) on Friday at Staples Center. But Scott said it seems more likely the player will first play in Sunday’s designated home game against the Clippers at Staples Center so he can practice in five-on-five drills on Saturday.

The Lakers also signed guard Jabari Brown this week for the rest of the season and a non-guaranteed contract for the 2015-16 season after playing through a pair of 10-day contracts via a hardship exception. The Brown signing coincided with the Lakers waiving the retired Nash to keep the roster at the league-maximum 15 players.

RELATED:

Lakers’ Byron Scott downplays being one defeat away from tying last year’s loss total


TWC SportsNet panel discusses Wayne Ellington’s shoulder injury

Lakers’ Wayne Ellington channeling grief from father’s death into productive season

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

TWC SportsNet panel discusses Wayne Ellington’s shoulder injury

In a sentence that has been written too many times to count, the Lakers lost another player to a season-ending injury.

Lakers guard Wayne Ellington will miss the remainder of the Lakers’ 2014-15 season because of a separated right shoulder. The injury, which an MRI confirmed as a grade 1 separation, happened during a collision toward the tail end of the Lakers’ loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday at Staples Center.

That all sparked an interesting discussion Thursday night on Time Warner Cable’s Access SportsNet. Then, host Chris McGee, analyst Dave Miller and I analyzed Ellington’s impressive season and how he has coped with adversity far more serious than the Lakers’ 20-54 record and his latest injury.

RELATED:

Lakers’ Byron Scott downplays being one defeat away from tying last year’s loss total


Lakers’ Wayne Ellington ruled out for season with separated shoulder


Lakers’ Wayne Ellington channeling grief from father’s death into productive season

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers’ Wayne Ellington ruled out for season with separated shoulder

Wayne Ellington of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a move to the hoop against the Washington Wizards during their game January 27, 2015 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.(Andy Holzman/Los Angeles Daily News)

Wayne Ellington of the Los Angeles Lakers makes a move to the hoop against the Washington Wizards during their game January 27, 2015 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.(Andy Holzman/Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers guard Wayne Ellington will miss the team’s eight remaining regular season games after an MRI exam taken on Thursday showed a grade 1 separated right shoulder.

Ellington’s injury stemmed from taking a collision in the waning seconds of the Lakers’ 111-92 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday at Staples Center.

“I saw him this morning before he went over. He said it was really sore,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said after Thursday’s practice at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo.
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers’ Ed Davis says it’s “difficult” to sit even if he understands reasoning

One night after missing a potential game-tying free throw in the closing seconds against Memphis, the Lakers' Ed Davis shot 150 free throws at practice and has shown improvement at the free-throw line. Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

One night after missing a potential game-tying free throw in the closing seconds against Memphis, the Lakers’ Ed Davis shot 150 free throws at practice and has shown improvement at the free-throw line. Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The stakes involved Lakers forward Ed Davis needing to make a half-court shot. Or else he owed Lakers coach Byron Scott $100.

Davis missed the attempt, but he quickly argued why he did not need to follow through on his bet.

“It was an April Fool’s joke, in my eyes,” Davis said following Thursday’s practice at the Lakers’ facility in El Segundo. “But he’s going to want this money.”

So much that Davis joked “I can’t walk by without him saying something to me.” Or without Scot mentioning the incident to reporters.

“That didn’t fly,” Scott said, and he knew where the question was headed next.

Does that partly explain why Davis has sat for three consecutive games despite Scott considering him “one of our most valuable big guys”?

“That wasn’t the reason,” Scott said, laughing.

Instead, Davis remains unsure if he will play when the Lakers (20-54) host the Portland Trail Blazers (48-26) on Friday at Staples Center because Scott wants to develop his younger players.

“It’s been difficult and sitting on the bench watching when I want to be out there,” Davis said. “But I’m staying ready, working out before games and after practices and things like that.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Lakers applying for hardship exceptions in hopes to add another player

Byron Scott looks at the action on the floor in the first half. The Los Angeles Lakers played the New Orleans Pelicans in a regular season NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. April 1, 2015. (Photos by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Byron Scott looks at the action on the floor in the first half. The Los Angeles Lakers played the New Orleans Pelicans in a regular season NBA game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. April 1, 2015. (Photos by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

There marks one thing that has become more repetitive for the Lakers besides the persistent losing and their players making too many trips to the trainer’s room.

The Lakers have also become accustomed to applying to the NBA grant them a hardship exception, something the team hopes to seek approval for amid prolonged injuries in hopes to add another player to its roster. The rule would allow the Lakers to add a 16th person to their roster because they have four players out with extended injuries. Kobe Bryant (right shoulder), Julius Randle (right leg) and Ronnie Price (right elbow) remain out for the season, while Nick Young has missed the past month because of a fractured left knee.

Assuming the NBA approves the measure, the Lakers appear likely to add a player either through free agency or from the Development League to a 10-day contract. That move could take on added urgency considering Lakers guard Wayne Ellington had an MRI Thursday morning on his sprained right shoulder.

“We got three guards, that’s enough,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said half jokingly. “Mitch [Kupchak] and I are going to talk today about some things but we’ll see where it goes.”
Continue reading

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email