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February 19, 2015 Updates

In a new ad set to debut during Friday’s Spurs-Warriors game, the NBA is honoring the Chinese New Year. The commercial features James Harden and Jeremy Lin visiting a fan’s house to honor the holiday, which begins this week. The commercial is colorful and entertaining but is also a bit strategic for the league — as they point out on their YouTube page, China has the largest international NBA fan base. Another video posted to the league’s YouTube page shows a variety of “bloopers” that happened in the filming of the ad, including Dwyane Wade and Steph Curry having a bit of trouble with their lines. For The Win

Lakers guard Jeremy Lin downplayed both Thursday’s NBA trade deadline and his pending free agency. But this did not just involve Lin staying politically correct with reporters following Wednesday’s practice. During the Lakers’ week-long break during All-Star weekend, Lin reported that he declined to discuss those issues even with his family and agent. “I said there is no use talking to me about it now,” Lin said at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “You don’t know what’s going to happen with the trade deadline and what happens when free agency comes around. There’s literally no point in me thinking about it right now because what it looks like right now won’t be reality when the decision needs to be made. I haven’t focused on it and I’ve refused to talk about it even with my agent. I’m not worried about it.” Los Angeles Daily News

That’s why numerous NBA sources outside of Lin’s camp and the Lakers are skeptical either party would want a reunion. Lin has admittedly struggled sharing ball-handling duties and adapting to Byron Scott’s Princeton-based offense after playing in traditional systems with New York and Houston. But even when Lin’s agent asked him about his outlook for this summer, the Lakers guard responded, “Let’s just talk about that when the season ends.” Los Angeles Daily News

Clarkson then soon returned to Los Angeles to resume his on-court training. That included working out for a few hours with veteran guard Steve Nash, who has recently taken on a mentorship role after staying away from the team amid a season-long back injury. “He’s a great and a future Hall of Famer,” Clarkson said. “Being able to pick his mind is just a blessing for me. I’m going to continue to learn and pick his brain every time I’m around him.” Los Angeles Daily News

After averaging 13.4 points on 39 percent shooting, 3.8 assists and 1.9 turnovers in 10 starts, Clarkson said he and Nash worked on various fundamental drills that forced him to keep his chest up to maintain his balance, help see the floor better and allow him to take more open pull-up jumpers. “A lot of teams are trying to take the drive away. We worked on staying lower, getting into my stuff quicker, being able to see the floor and making reads faster,” Clarkson said. “That can help me get my teammates involved and make the right passes.” Los Angeles Daily News

February 18, 2015 Updates

It seems inevitable the Lakers (13-40) will make changes to their roster amid an eventual missed playoff appearance and possibly the worst record in franchise history. But the Lakers are “unlikely” to make a deal prior to Thursday’s trade deadline, according to a league source familiar with the front office’s thinking. The Lakers have and will still make calls regarding possible trades. Yet, the Lakers are also aware that any moves could compromise a few variables they deem important. Los Angeles Daily News

The Lakers consider it a “high” priority, according to the league source both to maintain financial flexibility for this offseason’s free agency and to protect their draft picks. The Lakers have a middle first-round pick from Houston as part of the Jeremy Lin trade. The Lakers also owe a first-round pick to the Phoenix Suns as part of the Steve Nash trade, though they could keep it if the selection lands in the top five during the NBA draft lottery in late May. Los Angeles Daily News

The Lakers are interested in acquiring Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic, who has recently made it clear he will not re-sign with the Phoenix Suns. Dragic also said in an interview with Los Angeles Newspaper Group last month that the Lakers are one of the teams he will consider after he opts out of his $7.9 million player option to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. But the prospect of making such a deal seems daunting for the Lakers. Under no circumstances, would the Lakers make that draft pick unprotected to land Dragic, let alone any star player. The Lakers are also reluctant to ship Lakers rookies Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle in any trade because of their potential. Los Angeles Daily News

 

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