Category Archives: Los Angeles Lakers

LeBron James Reacts to Carmelo Anthony’s Standing Ovation at MSG

Carmelo Anthony was in attendance Sunday night at Madison Square Garden for the Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks game. While he was there to watch close friend Dwyane Wade in one of his final two games in the arena, the Knicks made sure to give Anthony some love as well.
Not only was there a video played of Carmelo’s 62-point performance, but he was shown on the jumbotron after the memorable moment in history. As you can see in the video posted by ESPN’s Ian Begley, the former Knicks star received a huge ovation from the fanbase.

Here’s the reception Carmelo Anthony received at Madison Square Garden when he was shown on the Jumbotron during Knicks-Heat: pic.twitter.com/v0LUDiKeaW
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 28, 2019

Later in the evening, current Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James had a message about both the video and Anthony, tweeting that it was well-deserved for his friend.

Well deserved!!! 👏🏾🙏🏾‼️‼️‼️‼️@carmeloanthony https://t.co/awReCCl6ZF
— LeBron James (@KingJames) January 28, 2019

Anthony was recently traded from the Houston Rockets to the Chicago Bulls. He played just 10 games for the Rockets prior to the team opting to go in another direction. It’s expected that he will either be traded or waived before the upcoming deadline.

Carmelo Anthony’s Run With Knicks
Anthony, who’s 34 years old, was traded to the Knicks during the 2010-11 season from the Denver Nuggets. He spent seven seasons with the team, playing in 412 games and averaging 24.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Over the impressive stretch, Anthony shot 44.3 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from beyond the arc.
The Knicks made the NBA playoffs in each of Anthony’s first three seasons, with the best year coming in 2012-13. New York went 54-28 that season before losing in the Eastern Conference semifinals. That stretch also marked arguably the best of Anthony’s tenure with the team, as he averaged 28.7 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.

Latest on Carmelo Anthony-Lakers Rumors
While the Bulls are expected to part ways with Anthony soon, it’s led to plenty of speculation that he could wind up with James on the Lakers. Although there have been various reports and rumors pointing to both sides of that, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski sounded off on it shortly after Anthony’s trade to Chicago.
As he reported, the Lakers have interest in Anthony but don’t want to waive a guaranteed contract.

Sources: The Lakers maintain interest in Anthony, but do not want to waive a guaranteed player to create a roster spot for him, league sources tell ESPN. If a roster spot eventually opens with LA, yes, the Lakers are a possible destination for Anthony.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 21, 2019

This isn’t all that surprising, as the Lakers remain focused on landing a second superstar to pair with James. The focus has primarily been on Anthony Davis, and the bulk of the team’s current guaranteed contracts have at least some amount of trade value and upside, making them tough to part with.
On the opposite side of the argument, Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports stated on the Nate Duncan podcast that the interest in Anthony may be more from James than the front office (per Clutch Points).
“Well, LeBron James is over there,” Haynes said on the Nate Duncan podcast. “And he’s made it quite clear that he would like to play with Carmelo Anthony. So if we’re going off of the past, LeBron typically has a strong voice and teams usually operate in a manner that’s going to appease him. So I will say that he definitely has interest.
“I don’t know necessarily that the Lakers brass is all that interested in bringing Carmelo Anthony on board.”
It’s an interesting situation and one that will be worth monitoring over the coming weeks. The Lakers could use depth at this point, specifically due to the injuries which have impacted the roster. Beyond that, if the team did swing a deal at the trade deadline, it could potentially open a roster spot for Anthony.
READ NEXT: 3 Anthony Davis Trades Involving Lakers’ Brandon Ingram


Blake Griffin Trade Talk: Lakers, Knicks Headline Top Packages

As the NBA trade deadline approaches, the chatter around potential deals is only going to continue heating up. While a few big names have already been linked as trade candidates, there have been a handful of additional players mentioned recently. One specifically that jumps out is Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin, although his scenario is a bit different than the others.
As Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson reported on Twitter, he believes Griffin has privately stated he wants to be moved. Robinson proceeds to cite the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat as possible options.

If Blake Griffin is moved, look for New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets & Miami Heat as his preferred destinations. https://t.co/PSX9TEJZqP
— Brandon Robinson (@ScoopB) January 27, 2019

Although it’s unknown what stage this whole situation is at and whether the Pistons would actually move Griffin, who was acquired last season, it’s an interesting topic. Even without knowing an overwhelming amount on this trade chatter, there are still a few teams who can put together strong deals for the Pistons star.
Let’s check out a few potential trades that could make sense for both sides if Detroit does decide to put Griffin on the table as a candidate to be moved. We’ll start off with the Los Angeles Lakers and a major hypothetical on their approach moving forward.
*Note: All trades created with ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine and are only for enjoyment purposes.

Lakers Acquire Second Star in Blake Griffin
ESPN NBA Trade Machine
Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into this trade, specifically the fact that it would mean the Lakers trading two potential pieces of a deal for Anthony Davis. This deal stems from The Athletic’s Bill Oram reporting that Magic Johnson and company would consider a “blockbuster that lands the Lakers a second superstar.”
“The second is obviously the priority, even if it means parting with some combination of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. Ideally, the Lakers would be able to land a second star in free agency and keep the core intact. However, with Anthony Davis unlikely to become available by the deadline, that particular dilemma may be a moot point this season.”
It’s an interesting scenario, and to be clear, I have no idea if Los Angeles would decide to avoid the risk of losing out on Davis during the offseason by acquiring Griffin instead. While the current Pistons star isn’t quite the caliber of player Davis is, he’s currently playing the best basketball of his career and would help right the ship immediately.
Personally, I think the Lakers are more likely to wait for Davis and make the push during the upcoming offseason, even with the risk. But if not, this deal for Griffin also provides outside shooting with Reggie Bullock.

Knicks Begin Building for the Future
ESPN NBA Trade Machine
*Knicks also second 2020 first-round pick and 2022 second-round pick to Pistons
The New York Knicks are expected to be big players in free agency, and if they plan to make a run at someone like Kevin Durant, it could be helpful to have Griffin in town. There have been rumblings the Knicks want to move Enes Kanter, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, so it’s tough to envision a better deal that accomplishes that than this one.
Draft picks would almost certainly have to be included here, and a 2020 protected first-rounder along with a second-round pick in the likely “double draft” in 2022 could get it done. The big aspects of this deal on the Pistons side are how the team feels about Hardaway and whether they believe Ntilikina has the upside to become their point guard of the future.

Luka Doncic Gets New Star Teammate With Mavericks
ESPN NBA Trade Machine
*Mavericks send protected first-round pick to Pistons
The Dallas Mavericks would be quite a fit for Griffin, and I’m not going to put it past Mark Cuban to figure out how to make this deal happen. What’s interesting is that it would reunite Griffin and former Los Angeles Clippers teammate DeAndre Jordan. That may or may not be a good thing, but regardless, Jordan is only under contract through this season.
In this scenario, Dallas moves Wesley Matthews’ contract and finds a perfect home for Dennis Smith Jr., who needs a fresh start. Smith could be the best part of this deal for the Pistons, although Harrison Barnes would be a solid addition as well. As Detroit searches for their potential point guard of the future, this is a low-risk, inexpensive opportunity to see what the former first-round pick in Smith can provide.
READ NEXT: Anthony Davis Trade Talk: Nets May Push Lakers, Celtics for Star?


Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Suns; Latest on Kyle Kuzma Injury

The Los Angeles Lakers will play at least one more game without LeBron James when they host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday. It seems they also may be without another go-to offensive weapon as well in forward Kyle Kuzma. With the Lakers playing the final few home games before a road stretch ahead of the All-Star break, they’ll look to snap a three-game losing skid against a struggling Suns group.
After falling in overtime against the Houston Rockets last Saturday, the team has since dropped games against the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves, moving to 25-24 on the year. LeBron’s absence has been nearly impossible to overcome, and since the Christmas Day injury, the Lakers have posted a 5-10 record as they await the return of their star forward.
Before diving into the roster and starting lineup for the date with Devin Booker and company, let’s check out the latest on Kuzma’s injury which may hold him out Sunday.

Latest on Kyle Kuzma’s Injury
It seems Kuzma’s injury may not sideline him long, but there’s a chance he could sit this game out. The Lakers revealed that Kuzma missed practice on Saturday due to a hip strain and is currently listed as questionable.
Beyond that, Mike Trudell of the team’s official website revealed head coach Luke Walton said Kuzma “didn’t look right” against the Timberwolves. He was limited in that game and the injury has apparently been nagging him as of late.

Luke Walton said Kyle Kuzma, who’s been dealing with a sore hip, “didn’t look right” physically, and that Kuzma “truly loves to compete but wasn’t able to do what he wanted to.” Already down LeBron and Lonzo, it didn’t help to have Kuzma limited, though Minnesota was beat up too.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 25, 2019

If Kuzma is unable to go, it’ll be interesting to monitor how Walton and the coaching staff opt to approach the starting lineup. Fortunately, the Suns play a fairly small lineup so they may be able to get away with going even smaller than they have as of late.
UPDATE: Kuzma has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

Lakers Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Suns

Position
Expected Starter
Backup

Center
Ivica Zubac
JaVale McGee
Tyson Chandler

Power Forward
Kyle Kuzma (Q)
Michael Beasley
Moritz Wagner

Small Forward
Brandon Ingram
Lance Stephenson

Shooting Guard
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Josh Hart
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk

Point Guard
Rajon Rondo

There’s a chance Michael Beasley or Moritz Wagner could start, but the option to re-insert Josh Hart in the lineup with Brandon Ingram at the forward spots is more realistic. The Suns are likely going to start Josh Jackson at the four here, so putting Ingram against him defensively makes sense.
The obvious hope is that Kuzma can play, but with an upcoming stretch of six-straight games against possible playoff teams, it may be wise for the Lakers to give him the night off. After this game, Los Angeles will host the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
READ NEXT: 3 Lakers Trades for Anthony Davis Involving Brandon Ingram


LeBron James Injury Update: Will Lakers Star Return vs. Sixers?

The much-anticipated return of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James may be near. Or, maybe we should hold off on the excitement just a bit at this moment. It’s tough to gauge exactly what the outlook of the future Hall-of-Famer is when it comes to his groin injury. But one thing that’s certain is that he won’t suit up for Sunday’s game against the Phoenix Suns.
While James is trending in the right direction, he took a huge step forward in his recovery on Saturday. As the Lakers revealed (with pictures, which was a nice bonus), LeBron returned to full contact defensive drills during the most recent practice.

LeBron James returned to full contact defensive drills for the first time since his injury, but won't play Sunday against the Suns. pic.twitter.com/e8y9z8kbI8
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 26, 2019

The importance of this can’t be understated, as there were talks that James had done some non-contact work prior, but the fact he’s in the mix at practice points to a return being near. There is yet to be a return date set, but the outlook improves with this news and we’re going to take a look forward at when he could realistically suit up.

Will LeBron James Return vs. Philadelphia 76ers?
For the first time since LeBron’s injury, there is a real reason to believe he may return in an upcoming game. There are currently eight games remaining (including Sunday) before the All-Star break, and there have been no signs pointing to James missing the festivities that weekend. In turn, expecting him to get back in the lineup sooner than later makes sense, but doing so against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday would be beneficial for a few reasons.
The Lakers are obviously being cautious with James, which is the right move, and even when he returns it’ll almost certainly be with a minutes restriction. Tuesday’s game against the Sixers marks the team’s final “home” game (they play the Los Angeles Clippers two days later) before the All-Star break. After the Clippers matchup, they have five-straight games away from home, and it’s a stretch where the star will desperately be needed.
This run includes dates with the Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Sixers, and Atlanta Hawks. While playing the Sixers in Los Angeles on Tuesday will be a tough matchup, giving James one game at home to log some minutes before this stretch could be key.

Hopeful of James’ Return for Tough Stretch
With the Lakers sitting at 25-24 currently, facing the first four teams listed on that road stretch, as well as the Sixers and Clippers prior to it, could leave them in a tough spot. James returning won’t completely keep that from happening, but it’s a starting point, even if he’s only able to play on a minutes restriction.
The Athletic’s Bill Oram cited that many had circled the game against the Suns as a possible return date for James. With that being the case, signs do point to him suiting up soon, and Tuesday is a decent spot to keep an eye on.
If you assume the Lakers defeat the Suns and move to 26-24 with five games they could easily lose waiting ahead, the idea of going into the break at 28-29 or 29-28 is far less than ideal. Even with their star back in a restricted fashion, it would at least give Los Angeles a chance to push a few of the top-tier teams that lie ahead.
READ NEXT: 3 Anthony Davis Trades Involving Lakers’ Brandon Ingram


Anthony Davis Trade Talk: Nets May Push Lakers, Celtics for Star?

The Brooklyn Nets may want in on the Anthony Davis trade fun. Although the chatter surrounding the New Orleans Pelicans star has primarily been around the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, the Nets are lurking in the shadows. Brooklyn has taken steps in the right direction after a few tough seasons and will likely be in the market for a big move this coming offseason.
As things stand, the Nets sit with a 27-23 record, holding the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. Even following a season-ending injury to one of their top players in Caris LeVert, the team has continued to play at a high level, winning six straight as of late. And according to ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, the nets may be right there in the mix this offseason if and when the trade offers for Davis begin.
During a recent episode of The Stephen A. Smith Show, the analyst spoke about a wide range of topics, but during a stretch about the Lakers, an interesting comment on Brooklyn was made.

Stephen A. Smith Puts Nets in Mix for Anthony Davis Trade
In the midst of stating his concern over the Lakers’ ability to lure a marquee free agent, Smith addressed how the offseason and Davis’ situation will go. He all but guaranteed the New Orleans Pelicans star will tell the team he wants out this summer but believes the Lakers could lose out on the All-Star. Instead, citing the Celtics and Nets as options to watch for him.
“Anthony Davis will let the Pelicans know he wants out this summer. He will announce it publicly, he wants to be traded, make no mistake about it, it’s coming. But the Pelicans still have to cooperate, and it’s not like Anthony Davis is going to say ‘I want to go to the Lakers only.’ He’s going to say he wants out and he wants to be with a contender.” Smith stated.
“So it’s a Boston [Celtics] situation, it’s a Lakers situation, it could potentially be a Brooklyn Nets situation. I don’t think the Clippers, but you never know.”
The Nets have the firepower to make a push to acquire Davis if they opt to go that route. Their roster is loaded with young players and the arrow is pointing up for the franchise also. After three consecutive seasons with 28 or fewer wins, the Nets have nearly surpassed their best win total over that span in just 50 games this year.

Potential Nets Trade for Anthony Davis
The situation involving Brooklyn and their trade for Davis would be an interesting one, as the team has eight players currently on one-year deals. It’s all but certain that a deal would include center Jarrett Allen, who’s improving at a fairly rapid rate and would be a nice addition for the Pelicans.
Beyond that, much of the deal could be centered around draft picks. Along with the Nets’ own selections (with a few second-rounders dealt), they have the Denver Nuggets’ 2019 protected first-round pick and two other second-rounders this year (Pacers, Knicks) coming in. Brooklyn is also set to receive two picks in the second round of the 2020 draft (Nuggets, Blazers) and one in 2021 (Suns), per RealGM.
The Nets also could include Joe Harris potentially or even LeVert, who they’ve reportedly kept out of previous trade talks. Regardless, Brooklyn has the firepower to make a strong offer for Davis if that’s how the upcoming offseason plays out.
READ NEXT: Lakers Trade Talk: 3 Anthony Davis Deals Involving Brandon Ingram


Ben Simmons Is Upset That LeBron Left the Eastern Conference

It’s been a few months since LeBron James packed up and joined the Los Angeles Lakers. At first, it seemed unreal, but now that the Lakers are a few games into the preseason, the NBA is finally getting adjusted to LeBron’s presence in L.A. And with the Eastern Conference no longer LeBron’s for the taking, it leaves the East title wide open to a few other teams.
You would think that guys would be happy that LeBron is gone. After all, he’s dominated the Eastern Conference for the majority of his career. But lately, it sounds like a few players are disappointed in his decision to leave. Well, at least that’s what they say in interviews.
Recently, Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons touched on the topic. Simmons, who is actually a friend of LeBron’s sounded quite upset that the 33-year-old veteran was finally heading out to the West. While talking to Omnisport, Simmons was very blunt about his feelings towards the move.
“It sucks that I’m not going to be able to play him as many times,”
“At the same time, I’ll be able to go to LA and play at Staples [Center] against LeBron, which would be fantastic.
“Obviously he’ll be able to come to Philly. I know that’s going to be a huge game. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

It’s Not What You Think
You would think Simmons’ reason for being upset had something to with LeBron not coming to the Sixers. Ever since the middle of last season, LeBron was rumored to be checking out school’s in Philadelphia for his son. The NBA world assumed that Simmons, LeBron, and Joel Embiid’s off-court friendship would play a major part in James’ decision during free agency.
Apparently, we eventually found out that LeBron James has had his heart set on the Lakers for a while. And while many fans assumed that the Sixers, specifically Ben Simmons would be upset, he continues to downplay that notion. Instead, Simmons claims that he’s upset he won’t get to compete with LeBron as often as he did last season.