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
Even after landing a coveted poker chip in the form of a No. 2 draft pick, Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson did not allow that prize to add an extra tint to his purple-and-gold colored glasses regarding free agency.
“I don’t know if we’re going to be a major player this year,” Johnson said after the NBA draft lottery in May. “I’m really looking forward to next summer.”
This past weekend, the Lakers have a mix of optimism and uncertainty on those feelings. The Vertical reported that Indiana star forward Paul George informed the Pacers through his agent, Aaron
LOS ANGELES – The two close friends laughed endlessly almost as soon as they walked on the stage Monday night. Then, Magic Johnson and Pat Riley relived memories of their time together with the Showtime Lakers.
Nearly 45 minutes later, Riley addressed a more sobering subject, offering some honesty and perhaps some inside information regarding Johnson’s first season as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations.
“When things aren’t going good the first year, he’s going to go down there and want to be Lonzo Ball’s mentor … ” Riley said, his trailing off.
Some in the audience for the American Express-sponsored event at
NEW YORK – Nearly a month after they spent a season navigating the learning curves of a young team under a first-year coach, the Lakers gained something that could reduce their frustration and accelerate their rebuilding process.
The Lakers received the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday, the third consecutive year they have avoided having to surrender the consolation prize for a disappointing season to the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s also the third consecutive season they will draft second, this time behind the rival Boston Celtics.
Lakers forward Luol Deng underwent successful surgery Wednesday morning to repair his right pectoral muscle, the team announced. Deng suffered the injury while working out in the offseason. He expects to be healthy well before training camp begins in late September.
Last summer, Deng signed a four-year, $72-million contract with the Lakers, a deal that made him the team’s highest-paid player and one that might have been a factor in the February dismissal of former general manager Mitch Kupchak and former executive Jim Buss.
Deng averaged 7.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in 56 games (49 starts) last season, but rookie Brandon