Lakers Rumors 2014: Latest News on Lance Stephenson, Steve Nash, Byron Scott, and Julius Randle
The Los Angeles Lakers are still finalizing their roster, deciding which remaining free agents to bring in and which players to re-sign.
In addition, the Lakers are close to finishing their long search for a coach.
Mark Medina of the L.A. Daily News reported over the weekend that the Lakers are finalizing the search and an announcement is “on the near horizon.”
“But Lakers going to finish up last few bits of free agency first,” he added.
Many believe that the Lakers will pick Byron Scott, former player for the team.
Star Kobe Bryant gave his endorsement of Scott last week.
“He was my rookie mentor when I first came in the league, so I had to do things like get him doughnuts and run errands for him, things like that,” he told reporters. “We’ve had a tremendously close relationship throughout the years.”
Bryant also said that he feels good. “Physically, I feel great,” he said. “I don’t think about my knee when I’m training, I don’t think about my Achilles when I’m training. I feel sharp and crisp and we’ll just add on from there.”
The Dallas Mavericks were able to take Chandler Parsons from the Houston Rockets, a deal finalized when the Rockets declined to match the offer sheet for the restricted free agent.
That means that Mavs are off the table for Lance Stephenson, a free agent who played for the Indiana Pacers last year.
But there are still teams after Stephenson, one of the best shooting guards/small forwards left on the board.
That includes the Charlotte Hornets, who had their offer sheet for Utah Jazz restricted free agent Gordon Hayward matched.
Charlotte has misgivings about Stephenson’s maturity, though, reported Sporting News.
“Still, Stephenson is an exceptional all-around talent who is only 23 years old. The Hornets have been looking to sign a young, star-level perimeter player to go with Al Jefferson inside, and they knew that landing Hayward was a longshot.”
The Lakers are another team mentioned in the possible pursuit of Stephenson, along with the Celtics and Bulls. These teams “have not been serious in their pursuit,” though, according to a source. But with the Carmelo Anthony signing not an option anymore after he decided against coming to the Lakers, Stephenson might be the best consolation.
The 40-year-old point guard will stay with the Lakers for now.
“I’m told the Lakers keep Nash for now,” reported Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
“They have until September to decide whether to waive him and stretch his $9.7-million salary over 3 years.”
The Lakers top draft pick has finally signed a contract with the team.
Randle, 19, out of Kentucky, then made his NBA Summer League debut.
“I signed it like 20 minutes before the game,” Randle told NBC.
“We were on the way to the game, and I was in my polo and shorts. My agent called and he said ‘Hey, Mitch has landed. We’re signing today.’ I was like, what? I don’t even have my shoes. I had to run off the bus, go get my shoes, take a car up here to sign and then get ready to play.”
Randle ended up with 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting, with two rebounds in just over 21 minutes.
“That’s the first five-on-five I’ve done since the national championship game,” Randle said. “It was good to finally get out there and play, and start competing again.”