Player News - Lakers

Date: Team: Pos:

Mitch Kupchak stated during his exit interview that the Lakers "can get better quickly."

The Lakers have an 82.8 percent chance of retaining their top-five pick in the 2015 draft, and they will get to see if the odds fall in their favor on May 19 when the ping pong balls are selected. Kupchak acknowledged that the LA organization will be disappointed if they lose out on their draft pick after ending their season with the worst record in Lakers' franchise history, but free agency will also give them an opportunity to build towards the future. The Lakers will be "active participants" in perusing the marquee free agents this offseason, such as Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Kevin Love, and it's sure to be a busy offseason in Lakerland.
Apr 17 - 10:18 AM

Jordan Hill stated during his exit interview that he hopes to expand his range during the offseason, and he would like to become a threat from 3-point range.

Hill made some major improvements this season, and he posted career-highs in points (12.0) and rebounds (7.9). However, the limited contributions to the defensive categories (0.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game) limited him to just low-end value in standard leagues. Hill also admitted that the increased role and minutes led to some fatigue, which took away from his rebounding energy, but he hopes to come into next season more prepared to play big minutes. Hill may or may not be with the Lakers next season, but he's a guy that needs to be on a bad team to provide meaningful statistics.
Apr 16 - 7:43 PM

Jordan Clarkson said that he watched his NBA draft 10 times over the course of the season in order to motivate himself.

Clarkson was the 46th overall pick of the 2014 draft, and he obviously felt he should have gone higher, and played with a chip on his shoulder throughout the year. Clarkson entered the season as a marginal bench player, but finished the year strong as the Lakers' starting point guard, putting in averages of 15.8 points, 5.0 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. It's hard to predict his value for next year with so much up in the air regarding the Lakers' roster, but if LA decides to go with Clarkson as their starting point guard of the future, he'll be someone to consider towards the end of drafts next year.
Apr 16 - 6:37 PM

Lakers' head coach Byron Scott said that Kobe Bryant (shoulder) has just started lifting weights, and Kobe told Byron a few days ago that he's feeling great.

All signs are pointing towards Kobe making a full recovery, and he should be ready to go when the 2015-16 season hits. Scott acknowledged that he played Kobe too many minutes this season, and said that he needs to get that number down next year, and that he will listen to Kobe when determining his minutes restriction. Kobe only made it through 35 games this season, with averages of 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 3.7 turnovers per game while shooting a career-worst 37.3 percent from the field. Over the past two years, Kobe has been limited to just 41 games, and it looks like the undefeated Father Time has claimed his next victim. We wouldn't recommend drafting him next year.
Apr 16 - 5:38 PM

Ryan Kelly said that he will spend this offseason working on his 3-point shooting, and becoming better at putting the ball on the floor.

Kelly was simply awful to start the year, but he ended the season strong, averaging 10.7 points, 4.2 assists, and 1.4 three-pointers per game over 35 minutes per game through the month of April. However, Kelly wasn't really showing up in the box score when the Lakers had other healthy bodies to compete with him for minutes and shots, so we're not expecting much from him next season.
Apr 16 - 3:55 PM
Ed Davis - F/C - Lakers

Ed Davis said that he hopes to return with the Lakers next season.

Davis said that he will not be chasing money during free agency, and he'd rather just land in an ideal situation where he's "comfortable," and with a coaching staff that "trusts" and "believes" in him. He also said he will spend the offseason working on his free throw shooting (career 56.6 percent free throw shooter) and midrange jumper. Davis is certainly a talented player, and he made improvements this season posting averages of 8.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game through 23 minutes of action. If he could get his minutes closer to the 30s, he'd be a nightly double-double threat, with the chance to post elite shot blocking totals.
Apr 16 - 3:17 PM

Robert Sacre said that he's hopeful to remain with the Lakers next season.

The Lakers have a team option on Sacre, but it's not exactly like he's a building block for a championship contending team, so it wouldn't be shocking to see them decline the option if they need to clear salary for a bigger signing. Sacre also said he'll spend the offseason working on his post game, and everything, but we're not expecting a major improvement during his fourth-year. Sacre finished the 2014-15 season with averages of 4.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game on 41.2 percent shooting from the field, he's not going to be an option in most leagues next year.
Apr 16 - 3:08 PM

Wes Johnson said he'd like to sign a multi-year deal somewhere and would love to be there for when the Lakers "turn it around."

Johnson also turned introspective during his exit interview in recognizing his inconsistency, before adding, "if I could pinpoint it, it wouldn't be there." The 27-year-old finished the season strong on his way towards posting averages of 11.0 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.1 three-pointers in 30.5 minutes per game after the All-Star Break. Johnson has enough upside to be a player worth owning in standard fantasy leagues, but he'll have to fall into the right situation in order to realize that potential.
Apr 16 - 1:53 PM

Carlos Boozer said he'd be interested in returning to the Lakers if the team is ready to compete.

Boozer said he learned to embrace his bench role with the Lakers and would love to win a ring with the team as long as they're ready to repeat. While Boozer's days of meaningful fantasy production are a thing of the past, the most interesting part of his exit interview was when he called Jordan Clarkson the "steal of the draft" and said that his teammate could be a "little baby Westbrook."
Apr 16 - 1:48 PM

Jabari Brown scored a career-high 32 points in a loss to the Kings on Wednesday, adding three boards, two assists, two steals and four 3-pointers in 48 minutes.

Not bad. The Lakers only had two active guards tonight, but Brown was fantastic and the Lakers have to be pleased with progress over the last few weeks. Having said that, the Lakers will likely be very busy in the offseason via the draft and free agency, so Brown probably won't have more than a limited role off the bench next season.
Apr 16 - 1:54 AM

Vander Blue nearly triple-doubled in a start vs. the Kings on Wednesday, scoring 15 points with eight assists, seven boards, one steal and one 3-pointer in 48 minutes.

It wasn't all great for Blue, as he shot just 6-of-23 from the field (1-of-8 from deep) and turned the ball over four times. Still, it was a pretty decent game under the circumstances, but it is unclear if the Lakers have any intention of retaining his services. Blue likely won't make an impact in fantasy leagues next season.
Apr 16 - 1:47 AM

Vander Blue will start next to Jabari Brown, Ryan Kelly, Jordan Hill and Tarik Black against the Kings on Wednesday.

With no Jordan Clarkson (ankle) tonight, the Lakers basically have just two guards on their team. That means we should see a ton of minutes from Blue and Brown. It actually wouldn't be a surprise to see them both play the entire game. Give them both a look in all leagues.
Apr 15 - 2:13 PM

Wes Johnson (ankle) will not play on Wednesday vs. the Kings.

He was considered doubtful to play in this one, so at least his owners have ample time to prepare without him. Johnson showed improvement towards the end of the season, but it will be interesting to see if the Lakers want to bring him back over the summer. Ryan Kelly will start at small forward, but he has struggled in that position and is a risky play outside of deeper leagues,
Apr 15 - 1:54 PM

Jordan Clarkson (ankle) and Wes Johnson (ankle) will not play vs. the Kings on Wednesday.

The Lakers are in serious trouble tonight, but that is quite alright if you are trying to solidify your position in the draft lottery. The Lakers don't have any true point guards available Wednesday, meaning Jabari Brown and Vander Blue will have to play as many minutes as they can handle in the backcourt. Clarkson had a phenomenal run after the All-Star break, but the Lakers' decisions this summer will have a lot of impact on his fantasy value for next season.
Apr 15 - 1:54 PM

Jeremy Lin refused to rule out a possible return to the Lakers next season.

Lin will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer, but it would definitely be a surprise to see him come back to the Lakers after such a tumultuous first season. He averaged 11.2 points and 4.6 assists per game, but he was outplayed by rookie Jordan Clarkson down the stretch and there was some tension between him and head coach Byron Scott, Lin's knee is also expected to make a full recovery without having a procedure, but we will track his progress very closely this offseason.
Source: NBA.com
Apr 15 - 9:17 AM


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