Gold and Silver Updates


LOS ANGELES — Within the first month of his Lakers tenure, simply earlier than he hit a profitable lottery ticket, Coach Frank Vogel nonetheless felt fairly good concerning the roster he was inheriting.

With Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, the Lakers wouldn’t have been nearly as good as they had been final season with Anthony Davis. However Vogel positively thought they might be good.

“My mindset at that time was that we have now a number of expertise round LeBron James,” Vogel mentioned. “We’re going to be a team-first staff and people younger guys are going to actually study self-discipline, particularly on the defensive finish and we had been going to proceed to develop their offensive video games, equally to what they’ve executed. … So I used to be very optimistic about what we might be, even with out that commerce.”

That silver lining portray of the bundle that the Lakers finally traded to New Orleans has borne out effectively, particularly relating to Brandon Ingram. After turning into a first-time All-Star with the Pelicans final season, the 23-year-old swingman has began out on an identical observe this 12 months, averaging the identical scoring manufacturing (23.8 ppg) whereas enhancing his rebounding (7 rpg) and playmaking (5.5 apg). Level guard Lonzo Ball has been a starter this season, whereas Josh Hart has been one of many staff’s high reserves.

Alex Caruso mentioned he’s not stunned the leap occurred for Ingram, who obtained extra of a inexperienced gentle when he arrived in New Orleans.

“I do know the employee he’s as a result of I’d see him work day-after-day pre-practice and post-practice and I’m certain he does the identical factor within the offseason,” Caruso mentioned. “He looks like a kind of guys that simply has that drive and that love for getting higher, and being within the fitness center and dealing on his craft.”

It’s labored out effectively for the gamers the Lakers saved: Caruso re-signed with the Lakers within the 2019 offseason, and Kyle Kuzma signed an extension shortly earlier than this season started. Each obtained championship rings, even when they haven’t earned the minutes or larger roles that their former teammates acquired with the Pelicans after being traded.

Whereas that may typically really feel like a difficult line to stroll for younger gamers, Caruso acknowledged, he’s been proud of the outcomes.

“I’m studying totally different stuff enjoying deep within the playoffs, and within the Finals and profitable championships that I don’t suppose you possibly can study until you’re experiencing it,” he mentioned. “They may have the benefit of creating their sport somewhat extra somewhat earlier simply due to the position that they’re put into with their present staff scenario. However I believe the scenario, the staff that I’m part of now has helped me take strides in my sport, mentally, professionally and in the end nonetheless engaged on turning into a greater basketball participant.”


Because the NBA postponed its thirteenth sport of the season on Friday, dialogue continues on how the league can alleviate some stress on rosters strained by COVID-19 protocols.

Amongst these discussions have been increasing rosters: ESPN reported that NBA common managers have broached increasing the variety of two-way contract gamers to a few, and permitting groups to make use of them for extra video games. Two-way contract gamers had been already given extra leeway of their offers this 12 months, receiving flat fee minimums for the season (versus pro-rata) and getting as many as 50 video games on the NBA degree. As groups together with the Boston Celtics, Washington Wizards and Minnesota Timberwolves have been unable to subject rosters of at the least eight gamers this week, extra two-way contract participant availability might be a beneficial software for NBA coaches with thinning rosters.


Source link