EL SEGUNDO — Luke Walton on Friday was focused on implementing defensive schemes and the long list of things he had been unable to get to during the Lakers’ truncated training camp. The preseason game that awaited his team the next day was not yet his focus.
Nor was the circus that awaits the rookie sensation he plans to start at point guard. The fervor surrounding Lonzo Ball, after all, comes with hope that the Lakers are on the cusp of a return to legitimacy.
“I’m sure when we get there tomorrow I’ll have some excitement about that,” Walton said.
NEW YORK — NBA owners on Thursday approved draft lottery reform and guidelines for the resting of healthy players in the regular season.
The lottery reform is an attempt to disincentivize losing and curtail teams from trying to get a better chance at obtaining a top draft pick.
The three highest lottery seeds will now each have a 14 percent chance of getting the top pick compared to 25 percent for the team with the worst record, 19.9 percent for the team with the second-worst record and 15.6 percent for the team with the third-worst record in the lottery system used
Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon said he is not considering legal action after the NBA fined the Lakers $500,000 for tampering with former Pacers star Paul George, who was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this summer.
“We agree with the NBA’s findings and we want to put this issue behind us,” Simon said in a statement released by the Pacers on Wednesday.
Longtime NBA columnist Peter Vecsey reported earlier in the week that the Pacers owner was considering filing suit against the NBA and the Lakers, which Simon emphatically denied.
The Lakers were hit with the largest fine for tampering
The NBA has announced that it is investigating charges of tampering against the Lakers , and team president Magic Johnson’s alleged contact with Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George is reportedly the focal point of the probe.
The Lakers are denying the allegations filed by the Pacers, insisting there is no evidence of tampering, and saying they expect to be cleared in the matter.
“As the NBA’s statement made clear, we cannot comment about the specifics of any ongoing investigation,” the Lakers said in a statement released on Sunday. “We can confirm, however, that we are cooperating
LAS VEGAS — Lonzo Ball’s statistics were down after two big games, but he still had the building buzzing Saturday night at the NBA Summer League.
Ball flirted with another triple-double, Vander Blue had 27 points and Kyle Kuzma added 26 as the Lakers topped the Brooklyn Nets, 115-106, in a quarterfinal at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Ball finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 34 minutes, again having more success as a facilitator than a shooter (4 for 12 from the field, 1 for 3 from 3-point range).
With intentions to bolster their backcourt and provide a veteran presence around their young roster, the Lakers “have shown interest” in free agent guard Rodney Stuckey, according to a league source familiar with the situation.
The Lakers have had preliminary discussions surrounding Stuckey but have not scheduled any meetings as both parties have evaluated other options, the source said. Still, the 31-year-old Stuckey finds the Lakers appealing for several reasons.
Stuckey is open to fulfilling a mentor role, playing shooting guard or point guard either in spot minutes as a reserve or extended minutes alongside rookie point guard Lonzo Ball. Stuckey
The Lakers did not begin the normally frenetic free agency period hosting an elaborate sales pitch meeting, and they didn’t splurge on players in an ill-conceived attempt to accelerate their rebuilding process.
That’s not to say they sat on their hands.
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When NBA free agency began on Friday at 9:01 p.m. PDT, the Lakers reached out to agents about their clients, expressing interest in Warriors veteran forward Andre Iguodala, Sacramento shooting guard Ben McClemore and point guard Rajon Rondo, whom the Chicago Bulls waived this summer.
EL SEGUNDO – The day began at 5 a.m. when Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka woke up so he could make phone calls with Eastern Conference teams starting their workday at more conventional hours.
The day ended with the Lakers experiencing the predictable and unexpected. To no one’s surprise, the Lakers selected UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball with their No. 2 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. But Pelinka felt “gratitude,” because the team then added three more players by virtue of two trades.
The Lakers selected Utah forward Kyle Kuzma with the No. 27 pick, which they acquired from Brooklyn after