Lou Williams, who was the NBA’s Siixth Man of the Year with the Toronto Raptors last season, has agreed to a three-year, $21 million contract with the Lakers. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
With the NBA’s moratorium ending on Thursday, the Lakers quickly signed some of the players they acquired on their roster.
The Lakers first signed Lou Williams, who won the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award with the Toronto Raptors. Williams secured a three-year deal worth $21 million with no player or team options, according to a league source familiar with his contract.
Williams averaged 15.5 points a game last season with the Raptors and has also had stops in Philadephia (2005-12), and Atlanta (2012-14). His arrival with the Lakers gives them secondary scoring behind Kobe Bryant and could offset Nick Young’s departure if the Lakers trade him.
“I am pleased to welcome Lou to the Laker family,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “We look forward to his contributions both on-court in bolstering our guard rotation, and also for the veteran leadership he can provide to our young players in the locker room.”
The Lakers also secured Anthony Brown, whom was drafted 34th in the 2015 NBA Draft after spending five years at the University of Stanford. The terms of his contract aren’t clear, but it is a multi-year deal. Brown averaged 14.8 points a game and went 44.1 percent from three-point range. This ensures Brown can suit up for Summer League play beginning on Friday in Las Vegas.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24) drives against New Orleans Pelicans guard Nate Wolters, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)
For all the importance the Lakers’ Summer League team will have on developing their youth, there marks one other looming variable that will determine the team’s success or failure in the 2015-16 campaign.
His resume speaks for itself with his five NBA championships and third-place standing on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. But Bryant also has suffered three season-ending injuries in consecutive seasons, the latest involving a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder that required surgery.
So when Summer League play ends on July 20, Lakers coach Byron Scott said he, Bryant, head athletic trainer Gary Vitti and strength and conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco will discuss at some point how to handle their star player’s practice regimen and playing time. Scott estimated that meeting will take place within three to four weeks.
“One thing I want to do is make sure he is able to play this whole year hopefully injury free,” Scott said after summer league practice on Thursday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I don’t want to overload him with minutes. I don’t want to overload him here in practice as well. But I want him to get all those things in so he can stay sharp. It’s a fine line on how to do that.” Continue reading →
Lakers Wayne Ellington scores two points during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, January 3, 2015. Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers 88-87. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News ) “
Wayne Ellington has agreed to a deal to play with the Brooklyn Nets next season.
Ellington attracted interest from the Lakers, Cleveland, Golden State, Washington, San Antonio, Atlanta and New York, according to a league source with the situation. Ellington had hoped for a multi-year deal with the Lakers after averaging 10 points on 41.2 percent shooting in 25.8 minutes through 65 games. But it currently is unclear if that became an option considering the Lakers acquired shooting guard Lou Williams in free agency. Still, Ellington expressed appreciation for the Lakers both for his role and granting an indefinite leave of absence that eventually lasted 11 days over the murder of his father in his Philadelphia hometown
I appreciate the Lakers organization and fans for all the love and support this past season thru one of the hardest times in life. #respect
But Roy Hibbert basically indicated as such, the former Indiana Pacers center posting a Lakers banner on his Twitter account. The Lakers are believed to be sending a future second round draft pick to Indiana, which became eager to clear Hibbert’s $15.5 million salary for next season amid a diminished role on a faster-paced offense. But it remains unclear if the trade will involve additional moves, including the Lakers sending any combination of Nick Young, Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly.
The 28-year-old Hibbert has made two NBA All-Star appearances and has cemented himself as one of the league’s best shot blockers. But both his rebounding and scoring is considered subpar. He has averaged 11.1 points on 46.4 percent shooting, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks through seven NBA seasons with the Pacers.
Amid his quest to have a productive NBA career, Jeremy Lin has narrowed in on a landing spot.
Lin announced on his Instagram account on Wednesday night that he will join the Charlotte Hornets next season. That officially ends a one-year stint with the Lakers in which both parties expressed frustration over his inconsistency and evolving roles.
Lin also attracted interest from Dallas, Memphis, Indiana, Chicago, San Antonio and the Clippers. Although the Lakers also contacted Lin after the free agency period began on July 1, both sides appeared skeptical about extending their reunion. Continue reading →
Rookie forward Julius Randle is eager to show the Lakers they made a smart choice by taking him seventh in the NBA Draft in June. (Thomas R. Cordova/Staff Photographer)
Only 48 hours await before Julius Randle will make his Summer League debut, ending a 10-month process that felt like an eternity as he rehabbed a right leg injury that wiped out his rookie season.
But even before seeing how that plays out, the Lakers are exercising caution regarding Randle’s return. They will sit Randle out of the Lakers’ second summer league game on Saturday against Philadelphia in Las Vegas.
The Lakers stressed Randle has not experienced any setbacks on his surgically repaired right leg and foot since participating in organized full-court practices this week. Instead, the Lakers want to gradually phase him back onto the court. They found sitting him out on Saturday as most appropriate since the Lakers have a back-to-back with a game against Minnesota on Friday. Randle then plans to play against New York on Monday.
The Lakers shared their plan with Randle after he spoke with reporters on Wednesday at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo. But Randle offered no indication of any setbacks and often flashed a smile.
“Amazing,” Randle said in describing his state of physical and mental being. “It’s a blessing to be back on the court. I’m doing what I love so I can’t complain. A lot of fun getting up and down. I’m just playing the game, so I can’t complain.”
The Lakers games played for a loop on Anthony Brown’s television set. That left the former Ocean View star with vivid memories of the Lakers’ championship runs, Kobe Bryant’s heroics and, yes, even Mark Madsen’s dancing.
But another image stayed with Brown all these years, admiring how Trevor Ariza made a lasting impact on the Lakers’ 2009 NBA title run even if he lacked the star talent or personality to come along with it. Then, Ariza averaged 11.3 points on a 47.6 percent clip from three-point range and also stole two key inbounds passes in Games 1 and 3 of the Lakers’ Western Conference finals victories over Denver.
As he completed a five-year stint at Stanford, Brown tried mimicking the game of Ariza, Toronto forward DeMarre Carroll and Milwaukee forward Khris Middleton. All those players represent the so-called “3 and D” players, a rising commodity in a league that has prized versatility and outside shooting.
“They don’t try to do anything they can’t do,” said Brown, who starred at Ocean View. “They keep it simple. They’re efficient. They know who the main ball handlers and main playmakers are and definitely ready for their looks at the same time. They know their role.” Continue reading →
The season hasn’t even started, and the Lakers are already experiencing an unpleasant reminder of past seasons.
The injury bug has bitten someone again.
The Lakers expect guard Jabari Brown to miss the first two games of Summer League in Las Vegas on Friday and Saturday after he was diagnosed on Tuesday with a small laceration in his left eye. He was poked in his left eye during Monday’s practice, causing him to sit out of Tuesday’s session. The Lakers’ training staff plans to examine him regularly through the next several days, but his return will likely fall on Monday when the Lakers play the New York Knicks.
The Lakers signed Brown to a non-guaranteed contract for the 2015-16 season after impressing the team as a late-season pickup because of endless injuries. Brown, who went undrafted after playing at Missouri alongside Jordan Clarkson, averaged 11.9 points on 41.2 percent shooting in 29.9 minutes through 19 games.
The obstacles Robert Upshaw faced once he stepped on the Lakers’ practice court seemed far more serious than his poor conditioning, learning a complex offense or fitting in with fellow rookies. Once Upshaw begins summer league play with the Lakers on Friday in Las Vegas, he will have to prove worthy of latching on an NBA team after he struggled to stay on two collegiate programs.
Both Fresno State (2012-13) and the University of Washington (2014-15) dismissed him from their programs amid unspecified violation of team rules, causing a projected first-round pick to suddenly go undrafted. He sounded fully aware that the Lakers will not view any behavior issue following the old adage that “whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
“For me, I had the opportunity come back to me every time I was let go,” said Upshaw, who missed the 2013-14 season because of NCAA transfer rules. “This time it sees real. It really does. It seems like if I don’t make this, I’m done.” Continue reading →