The Lakers landed an established veteran that could inject both talent and leadership to complement their young roster.
The Lakers and Luol Deng agreed to a four-year, $72 million deal, according to league sources. Deng had extensive conversations with other NBA teams, including the Washington Wizards and Utah Jazz. Deng also had a meeting with the Jazz on Friday, sources said.
But Deng likes the Lakers young players, including D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. Deng also talked with Lakers coach Luke Walton and was “pleased with the conversation,” sources said. Deng also liked the Lakers consistently stayed in touch after reaching out shortly after free agency began on Thursday at 9:01 p.m. PT.
The Lakers did not establish whether Deng would be a starter or a reserve. But he is expected to play a significant role after averaging 15.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 assists in his 12-year NBA career with stints with the Chicago Bulls (2004-14), Cleveland Cavaliers (2014) and Miami Heat (2014-16). Deng has cemented a strong reputation around the NBA as both a versatile forward and positive locker room influence.
@LuolDeng9 Congrts my brother. Now you can afford your own @stance socks..One of my all time favorite teammates. Proud to call you a friend!
The Lakers expressed interest on Thursday in New Orleans forward Ryan Anderson. Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer
New Orleans power forward Ryan Anderson left the Beverly Wilshire on Friday afternoon after having a meeting with the Toronto Raptors. The location seemed fitting considering the Lakers are interested in Anderson, too.
Last season, Anderson averaged 16.5 points off the bench (ranked second among reserves) and made 36.6 percent of his 3-point attempts. The 6-foot-10 Anderson would also give the Lakers added versatility to take advantage of the modern NBA that Lakers coach Luke Walton hopes to implement from his time with the Golden State Warriors.
Anderson will likely command a max contract after making $17 million last season. Although the Lakers have enough money to sign two max players, it is not currently clear how much they would pay Anderson. Should Anderson land with the Lakers, it would become an easy transition considering he recently bought a house in Hermosa Beach, sources said.
Luke Walton is formally introduced as the new head coach of the Lakers during a press conference at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, CA on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)
Lakers coach Luke Walton has already become acclimated with his new position just over one week into the job.
Some clarity has emerged on Walton’s coaching staff, with the Lakers officially announcing Brian Shaw as an associate head coach and Jesse Mermuys as an assistant coach. The Lakers also announced Mark Madsen will be retained as an assistant coach. Continue reading →
Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson recently received a qualifying offer from the Lakers. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/L.A. Daily News)
The Lakers may have struck out on landing a marquee free agent. But they managed to keep one of their rising stars from leaving.
The Lakers and second-year guard Jordan Clarkson agreed to a four-year deal worth $50 million, according to league sources. The deal cannot be signed until the NBA moratorium ends on July 7. Continue reading →
The Lakers’ quest to facilitate their rebuilding project led them toward reaching back to their recent past.
The Lakers expressed interest on Thursday in acquiring Atlanta forward Kent Bazemore, according to league sources. But two years after Bazemore became a lost casualty of the Lakers’ heavier priority on star free agents, the Lakers will field stiff competition from other teams interested in his services. Continue reading →
The Lakers made one step in hopes to upgrade their center position.
They agreed to a deal with Cleveland center Timofey Mozgov, according to league sources familiar with the situation. The terms weren’t readily available, but the Vertical reported the deal is worth $65 million through four years.
Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak reached out to Mozgov when free agency began at 9:01 p.m. PT on Thursday. It did not take long for them to proceed from there. Continue reading →
Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson said he wants to return to the Lakers. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)
The move represents a mere formality that both Jordan Clarkson and the Lakers hope forges into a long-term partnership.
The Lakers extended a qualifying offer worth $2.7 million to Clarkson on Thursday. The Lakers also did the same to backup point guard Marcelo Huertas and backup center Tarik Black, with qualifying offers worth both $1.1 million. Continue reading →
Free agency will not just mark the period the Lakers hope to revamp their roster. It could also represent a period in which another saga of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry unfolds.
Boston free-agent shooting guard Evan Turner has expressed interest in about six NBA teams, including the Lakers and Celtics, according to league sources familiar with the situation. Continue reading →
The Lakers need a center after not expecting to retain Roy Hibbert. The Lakers also need someone who can both produce inside and anchor a defense that ranked near the bottom of the league last season.
So who should the Lakers target?
Should they pursue Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside because he checks all those boxes? Or should they hesitate given his relative youth and past immaturity could become a bad influence for the Lakers’ young roster?
Should the Lakers go after Atlanta forward Al Horford because of his veteran experience and offensive versatility? Or should they wonder if Horford will provide enough on defense?
As shown in the videos above and below, this all became a topic of discussion Wednesday night on Time Warner Cable’s Access SportsNet. Host Chris McGee, 710 ESPN analyst Andy Kamenetzky and I analyzed the various centers the Lakers could pursue in free agency.
Free agent Kevin Durant, seen with now-retired Lakers star Kobe Bryant in January, has reportedly left the Lakers off his list of teams with whom he will meet this offseason. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff Photographer)
Below is a Q&A on Lakers’ with NBA TV analyst Stu Jackson, who is going to be a large part of the network’s free agency-focused programming. NBATV will have a free agency preview show on June 30 both at 7:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. ET. Then, NBA TV will air a “Free Agent Fever” episode on Friday beginning at 8 a.m. followed by updates throughout the morning and live studio coverage from 2-11:30 p.m. Free agent coverage will continue on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET as well as NBA GameTime Shows on Saturday and Sunday at 11 p.m. ET.
Jackson: “With Kobe, you lose one of the greatest players of all time. Certainly he is in that conversation. But now it’s an opportunity for the franchise to really turn the page and move on from Kobe. At the same time, Kobe will always be a Laker and could be an asset in helping with rebuilding the franchise. I’m sure he’ll be more than happy to help. But right now I look at the Lakers as having a clean canvas. They have a top draft pick. They can open up a lot of cap space to acquire free agents or accept in trade. They have a pretty good foundation of young players in D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson in which to build around. If you’re looking to pitch, that’s the pitch. For the Lakers, for them to build the franchise the way they want, it’ll take getting that one free agent to pull the trigger and want to make the Lakers the great franchise it once was.” Continue reading →