Player News - Lakers

Date: Team: Pos:

Nick Young believes he can be better under coach Luke Walton.

In other news, he said he wants to go by Uncle P this year. "I can still be me here a little bit and nobody here is harping on my personality no more. That’ll be all right," Young said. You might remember Byron Scott saying Young's hair looked "like a bunch of worms up there." Even with a new nickname and a new coach, he can be avoided in fantasy.
Sep 28 - 2:05 PM

Luke Walton said that Julius Randle was "phenomenal" during the Lakers' first practice of training camp.

"Julius was phenomenal," said Walton. "The way he ran the court today was incredible. He was phenomenal from the first drill we did of 3-man weave." Randle should have some increased opportunity operating in Walton's uptempo system, although he'll also have some increased competition for minutes with the offseason additions of Thomas Robinson and Yi Jianlian. Randle won't offer much defensive stats, but his ability to rack up the double-doubles makes him worth a late-round look on draft day.
Sep 28 - 9:49 AM

Mitch Kupchak said that D'Angelo Russell "was in the gym every day" this summer.

"Last year he had moments of brilliance, and then also moments that clearly showed he was a 19-year-old player playing for the first time in the NBA," Kupchak said. "This offseason, which was very long, he was in the gym every day." With Kobe Bryant now a member of the retirement community, and Byron Scott no longer around to tinker with Russell's minutes, the former No. 2 overall pick could be in for a major breakout year. Target him anytime during the middle rounds.
Source: NBA.com
Sep 27 - 5:57 PM

Mitch Kupchak said that while he doesn't anticipate Brandon Ingram starting ahead of Luol Deng, he does see Ingram earning "a lot" of minutes his rookie season.

Kupchak added that Ingram needs to focus on improving his stamina in order to get his body ready for a grueling 82-game season, so it sounds like Ingram could have a slow start as the Lakers ease him into things. Ingram does offer a good amount of upside, but coming off the bench and competing for touches with Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell is far from ideal. He shouldn't be targeted until the later rounds on draft day.
Sep 27 - 4:39 PM

Mitch Kupchak said that while Yi Jianlian has NBA size, athleticism and skill, he'll still need to "earn his way" onto the Lakers' team.

While Jianlian signed for $8 million, only $250,000 of that contract is guaranteed, so there's still a chance that he could be cut prior to the regular-season opener. Even if he does make the squad, Jianlian won't be worth drafting in most leagues.
Sep 27 - 4:19 PM

Mitch Kupchak said he didn't anticipate Ivica Zubac earning much playing time during his rookie season.

Zubac is the third-string center on the Lakers depth chart behind Timofey Mozgov and Tarik Black, so Kupchak is right in assuming he won't be a regular part of the rotation early on.
Sep 27 - 3:52 PM

Lakers strength coach Tim DiFrancesco said Julius Randle has been working "a lot on movement and hip mobility" this summer.

"His hips are strong but sometimes tight, so that was a focus," DiFrancesco said. The strength coach added that Randle has been a gym rat this summer with plenty of focus on quickness. Reading between the lines here, it sounds like Randle will play the vast majority of his minutes at power forward under coach Luke Walton. He's only a late-round flier for now.
Source: NBA.com
Sep 24 - 10:04 PM

Lakers strength coach Tim DiFrancesco said Ivica Zubac has "already added some muscle fairly quickly."

Rookie Muscle Watch is on. DiFrancesco added plenty of positives on the Croatian big man, saying he's a fast learner and has very good movement for a guy his size. Zubac showed some impressive shot blocking at Summer League to go with some offensive skills. It's not too crazy to think the second-round pick gets minutes this season.
Source: NBA.com
Sep 24 - 9:56 PM

In addition to improving his ballhandling and conditioning, D'Angelo Russell spent time this summer working on his floaters and his ability to finish around the rim.

Russell got a major wake up call during his up-and-down rookie season, but he appears to have turned a corner both on and off the court. There are multiple signs pointing to a potential sophomore breakout, and he's currently climbing fantasy boards at an expedited rate as a result. "That one year of experience did a lot for me," he admitted. "It just gave me a better blueprint of what my game is capable of [being]. It helped me recognize when I could get my shot and how I could get myself going."
Sep 24 - 4:43 PM

Brandon Ingram has been texting with Andre Iguodala about how to improve his defense.

Iguodala has apparently taken a special shine to Ingram, and the rookie is certainly going to a good source of knowledge if he wants to improve his defense as well as prepare for his sixth man role. "I watch a lot of his play defensively. He's a great defensive guy," Ingram said. "I even text with him sometimes, and he just tells me it's going to be a process, but I have a chance to be special on the defensive end and offensive end." The Lakers are certainly hopeful that Ingram fulfills his potential as a two-way player, but as Iguodala implied, it's not going to happen immediately.
Source: CBS Sports
Sep 24 - 4:10 PM

Luke Walton cited an 82-game schedule and the need to adapt to the "physical abuse of an NBA season" as reasons for bringing Brandon Ingram off the bench to begin his rookie year.

"No player has ever been through that until you get to the NBA," Walton said. "It’s exhausting until your body gets used to it and adjusts to it. It takes time. The biggest challenge for him will be figuring out the best way to manage that, still train and take care of himself. The on-court stuff and his play will be just fine. It’ll be the challenge of the 82 game season he might struggle with." At least to begin the year, Ingram will open as the primary reserve at small forward behind Luol Deng, though it's worth noting that Walton has toyed with the idea of deploying both players together in a small-ball lineup. That's a storyline to watch for in training camp as it would impact a multitude of players, including Julius Randle and Larry Nance. "He’s [Ingram] been very impressive in everything he’s done," Walton said. "I’m sure he’ll earn those minutes and that [starting] position sooner rather than later."
Sep 24 - 3:47 PM

D'Angelo Russell called the 2015 offseason "Looney Tunes" and said that he got "nothing" out of the process.

This offseason has a different feel and vibe for Russell, and it's been evident in both his actions and his words. "Fun," the point guard said when asked about life under Luke Walton. "Real fun. The team, I feel like, is growing." Russell didn't just stop there, either. "The coaching staff, the whole atmosphere that this coaching staff brings is different. I’m not saying better, I’m not downgrading the last coaching staff. I’m just saying the atmosphere they bring every day is a winning mentality." D-Lo said he received "no guidance from the people that were supposed to give me the guidance" under the previous regime, but we like his chances to blossom with a new leadership structure in place. A sophomore breakout is a very real and spectacular possibility, especially after he spent his offseason working on ballhandling, his jumper, his conditioning, how to better manage his time and how to implement a better diet.
Sep 24 - 3:20 PM

Lakers sign G/F Metta World Peace.

He's the 20th player on the training camp roster, so he's not a lock to make the final 15.
Sep 23 - 6:57 PM

Julius Randle had all seven stitches removed from his right hand on Monday.

He cut his hand on Aug. 29 and is expected to tape his middle and ring fingers together for about a month. The Lakers will start their training camp on Tuesday and start their preseason action on Oct. 4. With coach Luke Walton taking over and possibly wanting more athleticism at the four, Randle could lose some minutes to Larry Nance.
Source: NBA.com
Sep 21 - 3:18 PM

The Lakers signed Thomas Robinson to a one-year deal.

The Truck finally gets a deal as one of the best forwards left on the market. Robinson had a handful of impressive games last year, including a streak of six double-doubles before a season-ending injury on Apr. 8. Even with the strong finish, Robinson will have to play extremely well in camp to earn minutes out of the gate.
Sep 21 - 2:54 PM


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