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Kings Break Off DeMarcus Cousins Trade Talks With Lakers

Feb 19, 2017 11:32 PM

The Los Angeles Lakers were engaged in DeMarcus Cousins trade talks with the Sacramento Kings during All-Star weekend but those have been broken off.

The Kings are considering trading Cousins before Thursday's trade deadline and have been engaged with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Lakers and Kings also held trade talks involving Cousins in June of 2015.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Kings sought the inclusion of Brandon Ingram in the trade.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: DeMarcus Cousins, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Lakers More Active In Trade Talks This Season Heading To Deadline

Feb 16, 2017 12:09 PM

The Los Angeles Lakers are more active heading into this year's deadline than they have in recent seasons.

“We are active, yes,” Mitch Kupchak said. “We’re active every year. … Quite frankly compared to the last three or four years, we have a lot of talent on this roster that I think a lot of people have interest in — varying levels of interest. I would think there’s more meaningful discussions this year than there have been the last two or three years.”

Lou Williams and Nick Young are the most likely players who could be traded.

“I just play,” Williams said, when asked if he’d like to play for a contending team. “I’m a little old school in my approach. I play for the team that I have the jersey on for, so I don’t really deal in hypotheticals.”

Kupchak left open the possibility that nothing will happen.

“A lot of it depends on your roster and what it looks like,” Kupchak said. “I really like this group; they get along really well together, the guys that are here as mentors and leaders are doing a great job. The young players are showing growth. So it’s all good.”

Tania Ganguli, Mike DiGiovanna/Los Angeles Times

Tags: Lou Williams, Nick Young, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Trade Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

Magic Johnson Wants To Hire Kobe Bryant For Front Office Job With Lakers

Feb 14, 2017 1:11 PM

If Magic Johnson takes on a bigger role with basketball operations with the Los Angeles Lakers, he would like to hire Kobe Bryant.

"First call I make if I'm in charge? Kobe Bryant," Johnson said on ESPN's First Take. "Because Kobe understands winning. He understands, also, these players. I would call: 'What role you want? ... If you've got a day, just give me that day.'

"I'll take that. Whatever time he has, I want him to come and be a part of it."

Johnson was scheduled to meet with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and co-owner and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss on Monday to discuss the construction of the current team and the strategy heading into the Feb. 23 trade deadline.

Johnson has been vocal in saying that he'd like to "call the shots" and that the front office must work together.

"Everybody has to be on the same page right now," Johnson told ESPN on Monday. "What we should be concerned about is not just right now, but how it will affect the future of the Lakers. That's why we all have to be on the same page."


Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Magic Johnson Expects Lakers' Rebuild To Take 3-5 Years

Feb 13, 2017 9:08 PM

Magic Johnson believes the Los Angeles Lakers will need several more years to rebuild.

“It’s going to take three to five years to get them back rolling again," said Johnson during an interview with CBS This Morning.

“It’s different than when I played. In today’s NBA, you have to really develop your own players because free-agent movement isn’t like it used to be. You have to make sure you hit a homerun when you draft and try to keep the players you have on your roster.”

Asked after Monday’s practice how he felt about Johnson’s timeline, Walton said, “Three to five years sounds normal for a rebuild.”

Johnson told Spectrum SportsNet after his hiring that “Jim is calling the shots,” but in an interview with USA Today on Friday, Johnson said he is “working to call the shots.”

Johnson said Monday he will work “on the business side as well as the basketball side,” advising executives on personnel moves, mentoring players and recruiting free agents. 

The opportunity for Johnson to return to the Lakers arose in January.

“We’ve had our annual dinner to talk about the status of the Lakers,” Johnson said. “I began to tell her what I felt about the team and the direction the team was headed, and I didn’t think it was a good direction.

“I said, ‘What are you going to do?’ She said, ‘I’m going to make some changes.’ I said, ‘OK, what are you going to do? Who are you going to bring in?’ She said, ‘You.’ ”

Mike DiGiovanna/Los Angeles Times

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA

Magic Johnson Hopes To 'Call The Shots' With Lakers, Studying CBA

Feb 10, 2017 10:42 AM

Magic Johnson has publicly said he wants to have a major role within the Los Angeles Lakers now that he's been hired as an adviser to Jeanie Buss.

“Working to call the shots, because it only works that way,’’ Johnson told USA TODAY Sports when asked what he hopes his role with the franchise will be. “Right now I’m advising. I get that. But at the end of the day, then we all got to come together and somebody’s got to say, ‘I’m making the final call,’ all right? And who’s that going to be?

“So, we’ll see what happens.’’

Johnson said the decision on his role rests solely with Jeanie Buss as Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak remain in the front office.

“Look, Jim knows where we are, Jeanie knows where we are, as a franchise, and so some decisions have to be made,’’ Johnson said, adding that he thinks his role will be determined by the end of the season. “I may only be in this role for a short term, I may be here for a long time. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. I can’t tell you that right now.’’

After a promising start to the 16-17 season, the Lakers have one of the worst records in the NBA.

“It’s going to take time and we know that,’’ said Johnson. “I’m not going to fool nobody and I don’t want the fan base to think, ‘Oh, I’m back, so it’s going to turn around tomorrow.’ It doesn’t work like that.

“You have to make some good decisions, you have to make sure we use the money wisely when we have it for free agents and then we’re going to draft well.’’

During his first week in his new role, Johnson said, he has focused his time learning about the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap and other business-related items.

“I’m going to school, for sure,’’ he said. “Because I know talent. This part (evaluating players) comes easy, watching people play and seeing how they play, whose game hopefully can translate to the next level, those type of things. You’ll find out more as you get to interview them later on, the draft and workouts we have pre-draft. Then you’ll find out a lot more.

"The main part for me is really learning the other part that I didn’t know, and that is to understand the CBA, the salary cap, where we are in terms of the salary cap and who’s a free-agent-to-be. You’ve got a lot of young players so you’ve got to learn when are their contracts coming up, if you can give them the max deal, give them an extension, all those types of things you’ve got to learn. It’s a lot of things, but I’m excited. I’ve been working on all of those things, and then meeting with the staff.’’

Johnson has already spoken with Luke Walton by phone, who he plans to work collaboratively with.

“If I was trying to make decisions on the team and not consult with him, it would never work,’’ Johnson said. “The key is Luke because, OK, what does he have in terms of who’s making him happy? What does he need in terms of coming up on the draft? And even if we have money in free agency, what do we look for to help you as the coach? What do you need? What do you want to look for?

“It’s all coming together and working together, all of us. What do you like about the team you have now and what’s missing from the team? What would you like to see? And then he’ll tell you, ‘Well, I want this.’ OK, we’ll bring in those type of guys. Which one do you feel really fits your system? He’ll say blah-blah-blah, I’ll say blah-blah-blah, OK, let’s go with so-and-so.

“It only works that way.’’

Josh Peter/USA Today

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Magic Johnson Not Expected To Handle GM Duties With Lakers

Feb 8, 2017 11:30 AM

Magic Johnson is expected to remain at the senior level with the Los Angeles Lakers beyond this season.

Johnson was hired to advise and not do the heavy lifting of scouting and plotting out maneuvers. 

For the remainder of the current season, Johnson will be a voice alongside Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss while reporting to Jeanie Buss.

Depending on what is decided on the future of Kupchak and Jim Buss, the Lakers could make a Godfather offer to a big-name general manager such as RC Buford, Masai Ujiri or Bob Myers, or they could hire a dynamic assistant GM such as OKC's Troy Weaver or Michael Winger, Boston's Mike Zarren, Orlando's Scott Perry or Golden State's Travis Schlenk.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Agent: Mitch Kupchak Is NBA's Only GM Who Doesn't Engage Before July 1st

Feb 8, 2017 11:23 AM

The Los Angeles Lakers have been unsuccessful in free agency over the past few years, missing out on the likes of Isaiah Thomas, Kyle Lowry and Trevor Ariza.

Magic Johnson has heard from agents and executives from other teams that Mitch Kupchak's deliberate style can be frustrating to deal with and has likely been the reason for the free agency struggles.

Said one player agent, who has dealt with Kupchak on several contracts, "He's the only GM in the league who won't engage at all before 9:01 p.m. [PT] on the first night of free agency. Then when he calls to express interest, there's no stickiness to it."

Thomas told Grantland's Zach Lowe in 2014, "I always envisioned myself playing with the Lakers," but they were "waiting on Carmelo [Anthony] and other moves." Thomas took a new four-year, $28 million deal with the Phoenix Suns (via a sign-and-trade with the Sacramento Kings).

Kupchak perhaps overcompensated this past offseason when he quickly moved on a four-year, $72 million deal with Luol Deng and a four-year, $64 million deal with Timofey Mozgov.


Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Jim Buss Excited To Work With Magic Johnson For Years To Come

Feb 8, 2017 11:10 AM

Shortly after Magic Johnson was hired by the Los Angeles Lakers last week, he received a call from Jim Buss.

Johnson had long been publicly critical of Buss' moves within the Lakers' front office and stood by those comments, but also said he was there to help and hoped they could move forward without that baggage. Johnson's tone disarmed Buss.

Buss agreed and asked to schedule a meeting after the All-Star break where he and general manager Mitch Kupchak could explain their decision-making over the past few seasons.

"I'm taking Magic at face value, that he's here to help," Jim Buss told ESPN. "He's one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Who wouldn't value his opinion? I'm excited to work with Magic for years to come."

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

Jerry West Intrigued By Potential Return To Lakers

Feb 7, 2017 7:57 PM

The current deal of Jerry West with the Golden State Warriors expires this July and there have been no serious talks about an extension.

West had been telling associates that he wasn’t sure what he’d do after this season, but he knew he still wanted to remain active with a team.

West could be intrigued by an offer to return to the Los Angeles Lakers, but he also feels connected to this current era of the Warriors.

West was pivotal in the selection of Klay Thompson in 2011 and also advocated against trading Thompson in 2014 for Kevin Love. West also held an important call with Kevin Durant hours before he chose to leave the Thunder for the Warriors.

Bob Myers and West remain close though they're now on different contract timetables. 

Tim Kawakami/San Jose Mercury News

Tags: Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

BPI: Lakers Have 44.4 Percent Chance Of Landing Top-3 Pick

Feb 7, 2017 12:59 PM

The Los Angeles Lakers have a 44.4 percent chance of landing a top-3 pick in the draft according to BPI, which would allow them to keep their pick this year.

The Lakers currently have the third worst record in the NBA but could soon be passed in the standings by the Phoenix Suns.

If the Lakers don't convey their pick to the Philadelphia 76ers this year, they also benefit by converting a first round pick owed to the Orlando Magic from the Dwight Howard trade into two second rounders.

Chad Ford/ESPN

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia Sixers, NBA, NBA NBA Draft, NBA Draft General

Magic Johnson Returns To Lakers As Basketball, Business Advisor
Magic Johnson's duties will include, but not be limited to, advising ownership on all business and basketball matters, collaborating with coaches, evaluating and mentoring players, assessing future franchise needs, and helping ownership to determine the b

RealGM Staff Report

Jeanie Buss Meets With Magic Johnson
While the exact nature of the meeting was not immediately clear, Jeanie Buss has been soliciting opinions on the direction of the franchise moving forward.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Damian Lillard: D'Angelo Russell 'Poked The Bear'
D'Angelo Russell engaged Damian Lillard in a war of words and had to be separated.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Luke Walton: Lamar Odom 'Would Be Great' In Coaching Role
Lamar Odom and Luke Walton were teammates on the Lakers from 2004 until 2011.

Mark Medina/Orange County Register

Lakers Unlikely To Make Trade Despite Not Having Any 'Untouchable' Players
The Lakers are unlikely to be active in trade talks leading to the deadline.

Anthony Irwin/Silver Screen & Roll

Donatas Motiejunas Agrees To Deal With Pelicans After Meeting With Lakers, Wolves
Donatas Motiejunas was examined by Nets doctors earlier this season and Brooklyn was comfortable signing him to an offer sheet.

Shams Charania/The Vertical

Lakers Bring In Donatas Motiejunas For Workout
The Lakers brought Donatas Motiejunas in for a workout following the injury to Larry Nance Jr.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Phil Jackson, Jeanie Buss End Four-Year Engagement
Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss began dating in 1999.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Larry Nance Jr. Out Four Weeks With Bone Bruise
Larry Nance Jr. is averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds off the bench this season for the Lakers.

RealGM Staff Report

Jim Buss Doesn't Foresee Regime Change In Lakers' Front Office
Jim Buss runs the Lakers' front office with Mitch Kupchak.

Bill Oram/Orange County Register

Larry Nance Jr. Out Indefinitely With Bone Bruise In Knee
Larry Nance Jr. is averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds off the bench this season for the Lakers.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Luke Walton: You Control Your Own Destiny Growing From Within
The Lakers are rebuilding around a young core of D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle.

Zach Lowe/ESPN

Lakers Tapping Into Brandon Ingram's Experience At Point Guard
Brandon Ingram has started three games at point guard and also plays the role on the Lakers' second unit.

Tania Ganguli/Los Angeles Times

Lakers Challenged Kristaps Porzingis' Physicality During Pre-Draft Workout
Byron Scott kidded Lakers' staffers that he better get an extension on his contract if the Lakers decided to draft Kristaps Porzingis and wait for him to grow.

Kevin Ding/Bleacher Report

D'Angelo Russell, Nick Young Return To Lakers' Lineup
D'Angelo Russell missed 11 straight games with a sore left knee while Nick Young was out for seven with a strained calf.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

David Stern: There Was Never A Chris Paul To Lakers Trade To 'Void'
David Stern was asked about the proposed trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers that was canceled by him when the NBA were assuming control of New Orleans.

Sports Business Radio (via Ben Golliver/Sports Illustrated)

Jose Calderon Out 2-4 Weeks With Strained Right Hamstring
Jose Calderon is averaging 4.7 points, 2.6 assists, and 2.2 rebounds in 13.9 minutes per game while shooting 41.7% from three-point range.

RealGM Staff Report

Nick Young Out 2-4 Weeks With Strained Right Calf
Nick Young picked up the injury on Tuesday.

RealGM Staff Report

D'Angelo Russell Won't Return Until 100 Percent
D'Angleo Russell said the left knee had been bothering him off and on since the start of the season.

Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Durant, Westbrook See Similarities To Young Thunder In Lakers
The Thunder won just 20 games in Kevin Durant's second season which was when Russell Westbrook was a rookie.

Mark Medina/Orange County Register