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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Articles tagged: Los Angeles Lakers

Nick Young appears to offer services to Lakers in deleted tweet

Nick Young snapchat

LeBron James got his Los Angeles Lakers debut off to an exciting start early in Thursday night’s game, but the end result was a disappointing 128-119 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. Nick Young apparently thinks he can help his old team improve going forward.

Young, who spent four seasons with the Lakers and is currently a free agent, appeared to offer his services to the Lakers in a tweet he sent during the game and later deleted.

The message seems pretty obvious. The Lakers converted just 7-of-30 3-point shots against Portland, which is a measly 23.3 percent. While one regular season game means virtually nothing, Young is a career 37.6 percent 3-point shooter and converted just over 40 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc when he was with the Lakers in 2016-2017.

Of course, Young is now 33 and failed to carve out a significant role with the Golden State Warriors last year. He can also be somewhat of a headache off the court, so it seems unlikely that the Lakers will bring him back. You can’t blame him for giving it a shot, though.

Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler don’t want to team with LeBron on Lakers?

The Los Angeles Lakers have long been considered the favorite to land Kawhi Leonard when he opts out of his contract after the season, but those things seem to have a way of not working out as anticipated in the NBA. The more we hear, the more it sounds like that could be the case with Leonard.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wrote this week that there are “whispers” around the NBA that neither Leonard nor Jimmy Butler — who is also set to become a free agent next summer — want to join LeBron James with the Lakers. Like we saw with Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, it’s possible that Leonard and Butler are two more star players who do not want to be overshadowed by LeBron.

The 2019 free agent class is a loaded one, and the assumption has been that the Lakers will sign at least one other star player. They already missed out on Paul George, however, and there have been mixed reports about whether Butler and Leonard have interest in the purple and gold.

In fact, one recent report indicated the Los Angeles Clippers are operating as though they can sign both Leonard and Butler next summer. The Lakers are a playoff team as long as they have LeBron, but they need another star player to contend with teams like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. If they can’t convince Butler or Leonard to join them, they will have to get more creative.

Jeanie Buss shows she is already thinking playoffs for Lakers

Jeanie Buss

The new-look Los Angeles Lakers have gotten off to a bit of a rough start together, but fortunately the two games they have played mean absolutely nothing. Their preseason losses to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday and Tuesday may have some fans concerned, but team owner Jeannie Buss doesn’t seem all that rattled.

After LeBron and company lost 113-111 on Tuesday night, comedian Jay Mohr, who hosts a Lakers podcast, took to Twitter to tell L.A. fans to calm down.

Buss probably agrees that Lakers fans need to take a deep breath, but she made sure to note that she envisions her team playing more than 82 games this season.

Expectations are obviously sky-high in La La Land now that LeBron is in the fold, and Buss was vocal recently in criticizing some of the struggles the Lakers have had in the past. While it would be a shock if they missed the playoffs with James leading the way, Buss’ tweet makes it clear it would also be considered a major failure.

Andrew Bynum working out at Lakers’ facility amid comeback attempt

Andrew Bynum hair

Andrew Bynum never really panned out for the Los Angeles Lakers as a first-round pick out of high school, but the team is still willing to support him as he attempts to rekindle his NBA career at age 30.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Bynum spent some time working out at the Lakers’ facility this week. While it was not considered an official workout, he has been scheduling workouts with other teams.

Bynum spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Lakers and was part of two championship teams in 2009 and 2010. He had the potential to be a franchise cornerstone, but he dealt with some knee injuries and character concerns that derailed his career. He last played in the NBA during the 2013-2014 season.

This is not the first time we have heard of Bynum attempting a comeback.

Report: Jimmy Butler open to joining Lakers

Jimmy Butler

The Los Angeles Lakers never did find that second star to pair with LeBron James this summer, but there may be opportunities to do it next year — and there’s one standout player who could have interest.

According to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler has interest in joining James with the Lakers next summer, when he could become a free agent.

The possibilities of DeMarcus Cousins and Kawhi Leonard remain on the table, but Butler is an intriguing name given his ability to score and defend at a high level. He can opt out of his current contract next summer.

Butler has already turned down an extension with Minnesota, and has dropped hints that he’d like to leave the organization. It’s certainly setting him up for an interesting season.

Lakers release first official LeBron James promo

LeBron James

LeBron James officially signed with the Los Angeles Lakers three weeks ago, and the team is wasting no time marketing its new big superstar.

On Tuesday, the Lakers released their first official LeBron-themed promo. While several players were featured, LeBron was understandably the most prominent.

The Lakers also unveiled a new look, which is really an old look that pays homage to Magic Johnson’s 1980s “Showtime” Lakers.

We already saw how insane demand was for LeBron jerseys, which was hardly a surprise. LeBron is the latest in a long line of superstars that have sold countless tickets and merchandise for the franchise, and there’s no way he’s going to disappoint in that department.

Report: Kawhi Leonard has not changed stance on wanting to join Lakers

Kawhi Leonard

It has been reported for months that Kawhi Leonard wants to play for the Lakers and will sign with them as a free agent next summer if he is not traded to Los Angeles sooner, but some have wondered if LeBron James’ latest career decision altered Leonard’s plans at all. That doesn’t appear to be the case.

NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter, who has been sharing Leonard scoops this week and seems to have some connection to the star forward’s camp, said on FS1’s “First Things First” Friday that Leonard has not had a change of heart and still wants to play for the Lakers.

“Kawhi can be traded anywhere, so is it a possibly? Yes, but nothing’s changed from Kawhi’s side,” Carter said. “He still wants to go to Los Angeles, and he’s still not interested in being rented out for one season — that being Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto or any other team.”

Carter had another noteworthy report about the Leonard situation earlier this week when he said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is trying to make Kawhi happy.

As long as the Lakers are confident Leonard wants to play with LeBron, they’re the only team with leverage. While a surprise suitor has entered the mix, teams aren’t going to give up much for Leonard in a trade if he just plans to sign with the Lakers anyway. And if the Spurs have no chance of smoothing things over with Leonard, they have to trade him eventually or risk losing him for nothing. At this point, a LeBron-Kawhi pairing still seems likely.