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April 1, 2015 Updates

Several teams — including the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets — have already set up their salary structure to make a run at Durant next summer, when the league will be overwhelmed by significant increase in the cap. And Durant has been constantly pestered by fans, reporters and even associates about his future plans. “I hear it all the time, don’t get me wrong, and once you hear it you’re kind of like,” Durant said, looking up and thinking. “But for me, I love staying in the moment, and I’m one of those guys that would love to stick it out with one team my whole career.” Washington Post

Clarkson plans to play on the Lakers’ Summer League team in hopes of fine-tuning his scoring and accelerating his learning curve as a playmaker. The Lakers have a team option on Clarkson for the 2015-16 season, though it seems inevitable he will return because of his potential and relatively inexpensive $845,059 salary. That all prompted Lakers coach Byron Scott to predict Clarkson “has a chance” to become an NBA All-Star. “The more he gains experience, he will learn the pace of the game, how to slow it down and use his speed when he has to do so,” Scott said. “His ceiling is pretty high.” Los Angeles Daily News

Clarkson’s dad and stepmom left their San Antonio home on Feb. 1, 2014 to visit Clarkson at his apartment following his breakout game against Kentucky. They informed him that his father had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his lower back. “It was alarming to me, but I had a stoic look on my face and I stayed calm,” Clarkson’s dad, Mike, recalled. “I figured he would accept it easier and he wouldn’t be worried as much.” Jordan Clarkson tried to show the same confidence he has displayed on the court. “I tried to stay strong at the time,” he said. “I told him he was going to be good and all right.” Los Angeles Daily News

March 31, 2015 Updates
March 30, 2015 Updates

When Lakers guard Wayne Ellington returns to his hometown of Philadelphia to play the 76ers on Monday, it will mark the first time in his six-year NBA career that his father won't be in the Wells Fargo Center's stands, a proud dad flanked by fellow supporters, bellowing the mantra he shared with his son: “Go to work!” An arena full of thousands of people will feel empty. “It's going to be tough having all my family there and he won't be there with us,” said Ellington. “It will be tough. He enjoyed that.” Orange County Register

It's the time away from the game that worries Ellington. The pending months that separate the end of one season from the beginning of the next are a void in which he fears the weight of loss will finally catch up to him. “I'm kind of nervous for the offseason,” he said. “I don't have a routine, I don't have things to do that I need to be doing every day. I think it probably would be smart to figure some things out.” Orange County Register

One way he plans to busy himself this summer is by starting a foundation in his father's memory. As a model, he points to the work Chicago Bulls stars Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose have done to raise awareness of gun violence. Orange County Register

March 29, 2015 Updates

Lakers guard Jeremy Lin will sit out of today’s game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclasy Center because of an upper respiratory infection that has worsened in recent days. Lin went through all of Saturday’s practice and maintained he could play despite looking visibly distraught. Lin’s voice also sounded soft. Yet, Lin has averaged 21.5 points and 5.5 assists in the past four games since nursing the illness. Lakers guard Wayne Ellington will start in Lin’s place, while starting point guard Jordan Clarkson and backup guard Jabari Brown will see more playing time. As for Lin, Scott believes he will recover in time to play on Monday in Philadelphia. Los Angeles Daily News

“You have a lot of free agents out there who would love to play for us. They’ve been making it pretty clear,” Scott said. “You have guys during the games come by the bench saying, ‘Hey Coach, I would love to be in L.A. next year.’ That makes you feel good there are players out there that want to be here. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we’re taking it in a different direction. They know this organization and the history of the organization is going to be back.” Los Angeles Daily News

March 28, 2015 Updates

The Lakers could not sign LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony last summer. Both Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol also left in consecutive offseasons without the Lakers receiving anything in return. But Scott called those developments the “past” and exuded optimism beyond the Lakers’ usual talking points about their 16 NBA championships. “You have a lot of free agents out there who would love to play for us. They’ve been making it pretty clear,” Scott said. “You have guys during the games come by the bench saying, ‘Hey Coach, I would love to be in L.A. next year.’ That makes you feel good there are players out there that want to be here. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we’re taking it in a different direction. They know this organization and the history of the organization is going to be back.” Los Angeles Daily News

“The turnaround can be just as quickly here as it was in New Jersey,” Scott said. “But obviously you have to hit a home run in the free agent market and with your draft pick. We have the capability of doing that.” The Lakers could have as many as four draft picks, both in the first and second round. The Lakers will also have enough cap space to sign one marquee free agent at a max-level contract, possible candidates including Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Cleveland’s Kevin Love, Miami’s Goran Dragic and Dallas’ Rajon Rondo. Los Angeles Daily News

March 27, 2015 Updates
 

THE TOP 50 PLAYERS IN LAKERS HISTORY

Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson headline a fantastic list that includes up to 33 NBA champions.

   

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