Player News - Lakers

Date: Team: Pos:

The Lakers won the No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Lakers only had a 46.9 percent chance of keeping their pick, as they would've had to send their pick to Philly if it fell out of the top three. This is a huge relief for the franchise and also means they will keep their 2019 first rounder, but it does mean their first round pick in 2018 will go to Philly no matter what. The 76ers will pick at No. 3 in 2017, followed by the Suns (No. 4), Kings (No. 5), Magic (No. 6), Wolves (No. 7), Knicks (No. 8), Mavericks (No. 9), Kings (No. 10), Hornets (No. 11), Pistons (No. 12), Nuggets (No. 13) and Heat (No. 14).
May 16 - 9:13 PM

On ESPN's coverage of the NBA Draft Combine, president Magic Johnson said he intends to focus more on the 2018 free agent class and not as much on the 2017 class.

He said he wants to save some cap space this summer to help his pitch in 2018. In other words, the Lakers may have one more year in their rebuild, and this may have something to do with Paul George. The Lakers have a huge night coming up on Tuesday when they hope to land a top-three pick in the draft lottery.
May 11 - 4:55 PM

Luol Deng (chest) had surgery on Wednesday on his right pectoral muscle.

He is expected to make a full recovery before training camp. Deng is 32 years old and his best days are probably behind him, especially with how coach Tom Thibodeau played him so heavily in his Bulls days. He won't be worth drafting in fantasy next year.
Source: NBA.com
May 3 - 6:59 PM

Julius Randle pledged to work like a "beast" in the offseason.

Beast Mode is apparently back in two spots in Cali. Randle said he will try to develop his jump shot and keep working on his finishing at the rim, particularly with his right hand. Randle was below the league average within eight feet at just 55.0 percent, which is very important for him because 70.4 percent of his shots came in that range. With the Lakers not likely to have much depth up front and being at just 22 years old, Randle could be even better next year.
Apr 29 - 8:55 PM

Luol Deng said he hopes to play more frequently at power forward next season.

2016-17 was a lost season for Deng. Despite signing a whopping four-year, $72 million contract last summer, Deng averaged career-lows in points (7.6), FG percentage (.387), assists (1.3) and minutes (26.5). He feels part of the problem was playing out position. "In terms of my future," Deng said, "I would like to play at the 4 more. The 3 is more of a spot-up position for a lot of teams. I think I struggle with that." We'll see how the Lakers handle Deng next season, but he should be avoided in standard fantasy leagues until he proves he can still produce.
Apr 22 - 10:03 AM

Larry Nance said he wants to be a guy in the Defensive Player of the Year discussions.

The Lakers like Nance's off-ball defense and his ability to play the small-ball five helps his versatility as a defender. Fantasy owners know all about Nance's affinity for steals, racking up 1.5 steals per game in just 23.9 minutes per outing after the break. He'll be a nice late-round target, assuming the Lakers don't add much depth up front.
Apr 21 - 4:07 PM

Ivica Zubac is confident that he can start for the Lakers next season.

"I know I can start. I already started a few games," he said. "I think going into training camp, I’m going to have to prove myself again and prove what can I do. Hopefully I’m going to work a lot. Hopefully I’m going to get a starting spot." Timofey Mozgov and Tarik Black are his only current competition, and Black isn't a lock to return, so the odds are good for Zubac. A strong offseason would go a long way to increasing his fantasy appeal.
Apr 20 - 1:46 AM

D'Angelo Russell was told by Lakers' management during his exit interview to focus on leadership, consistency and changing his body during the offseason.

Russell didn't come anywhere close to meeting his draft day hype during his first Kobe-less season in Los Angeles, posting averages of 15.6 points, 4.8 assists, 2.1 triples, 1.4 steals and 2.8 turnovers per game on 40.5 percent shooting, which was only good enough for ninth-round value in standard 9-cat leagues. His shooting percentage actually went down during Year-2, and the poor shooting and turnover issues are definitely things he should focus on this offseason.
Apr 18 - 3:00 PM

Tarik Black is confident the Lakers will bring him back next season.

Black has a non-guaranteed contract worth $6.7 million next season. He averaged 5.7 points on 51.2 percent shooting and 5.1 rebounds in 16.3 minutes per game in the 2016-17 campaign. However, Ivica Zubac played better than expected late in the season and the Lakers also still owe Timofey Mozgov $48 million over the next three years.
Apr 18 - 10:18 AM

Coach Luke Walton said there would be an open competition for the Lakers starting center spot in training camp.

The Lakers signed Timofey Mozgov to a four-year, $64-million deal last June, but benched him during the second half of the season. Ivica Zubac started ten games in March before a high ankle sprain sidelined him for the year. Zubac averaged 11.1 points and 5.4 rebounds in those 10 starts. "I didn’t expect to play as much this season as I played. As soon as I got my chance, I showcased my skill and tried to help my team," said Zubac. "I know I can start." This will be a position battle to keep an eye on in October.
Apr 15 - 12:28 PM

Brandon Ingram could work with Kobe Bryant this summer.

Bryant reached out to Ingram in a text during the season and Ingram himself said he was surprised. It's not 100 percent confirmed, but general manger Rob Pelinka said Bryant would be open to working with Ingram and other young players. Ingram will be in Summer League to work on his scoring.
Source: NBA.com
Apr 14 - 8:31 PM

Timofey Mozgov said that he expects to play far more for the Lakers next season.

The Lakers shockingly handed Mozgov a four-year, $64-million deal last June. Seven months later, they benched him for Tarik Black, an undrafted journeyman. Mozgov admitted it was tough to ride the bench. "It was not easy at all. Deeper in the season it was a bit more harder," said Mozgov. "Sometimes it’s not about you, it’s about the team." Surprisingly, Mozgov stated that he would spend the off-season working on his three-point shot. Despite the optimism, fantasy owners will want to continue to steer clear of Mozgov.
Apr 14 - 12:11 PM

Jordan Clarkson said he is going to work on his left hand this season.

There is a fairly clear trend of Clarkson having a tougher time on the left side of the court, shooting below league average in most areas while he was above it on the right side for the most part. Clarkson also said he's not sure if he's going to start or come off the bench, but a lot of that will have to do with how the lottery balls bounce for the Lakers next month.
Apr 13 - 3:39 PM

Nick Young said he hasn't decided if he will exercise his $5.7 million option for next season.

In typical Swaggy P Style, he started his exit interview by joking that he agreed to a $150 million lifetime deal that was paid "under the table." Young had a successful season in LA considering he wasn't even a lock to make the 15-man roster, averaging 13.2 points and 2.8 3-pointers on 43 percent shooting from the field. While he would like to stick with the Lakers, Young hinted that he may see what the market looks like -- he also hinted that he could look for a playoff team.
Apr 13 - 1:23 PM

Magic Johnson told Metta World Peace that he probably won't re-sign him this summer.

This could be the end of the road for the 37-year-old veteran. MWP got some burn down the stretch with the Lakers trying to tank some games, but he was more of a locker room guy all season and finished with 25 total appearances. He's unsure if he will keep playing, but if he does, don't expect to see him in a Lakers uniform again.
Apr 13 - 1:13 PM


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