News 'n Views - July 2016: What’s Brandon Ingram’s Ceiling?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:53 am    Post subject:

Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac looking forward to a bright future with Lakers
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

After the hoopla of the pre-draft process, Los Angeles' new additions sound thrilled to join their new team and get to work.

As the rest of the NBA continued to buzz over the Golden State Warriors setting off fireworks on the morning of July 4th when they added Kevin Durant, the Los Angeles Lakers introduced the largest additions of their own offseason, rookies Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac, at a press conference in their practice facility.

In the case of Ingram, the size of his addition is metaphorical and requires optimistic projections of the future. Still, from walking him past their championship trophies on the way to the presser, to giving him the retired Kobe Bryant's old locker on his first day at the team's practice facility, the team wasn't shy in expressing that they have big expectations for their second overall pick.

The quiet but self-assured Ingram isn't letting that vote of confidence go to his head, however. He knows that while he may be filling the Lakers legend's locker, he isn't anywhere near ready to fill his Nikes (and not just because he's signed with Adidas).

"Mitch told me I have some big shoes to fill, but I like the pressure that's on me right now," laughed Ingram, before later turning serious. "I can only do what I do well. There's no other Kobe Bryant."

Ingram may not be planning to replace Kobe, but he still thinks he can help this Lakers team start the road back to its former glory in other ways.

"Going into Duke University, I wasn't vocal at all," admitted Ingram. "But just learning under Coach K, you learn a lot of things." Those things included being more vocal with his teammates, and despite being the youngest player on the team, that's a quality Ingram wants to carry with him to the Lakers.

"[My goals are] just being the best player I can be, and being vocal and have other guys follow my lead."

That desire to lead comes out of a knowledge that he won't be alone in his efforts to restore the team's luster. Ingram likes what he's seen from his new teammates so far, and thinks the Lakers will surprise some people this season.

"We have a lot of young, good guys that like to work," said Ingram. "I just know, even though we're young, everyone is going to compete each and every night."

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:55 am    Post subject:

What's the word on the Lakers' top pick? 'Coachable'
by Dylan Hernandez - latimes.com

There’s plenty about Brandon Ingram that remains unknown, from whether his slender frame can withstand the increased physicality he will encounter in the NBA to how he will deal with being the focal point of a major market’s flagship sports franchise.

Here’s what can be said: Ingram shouldn’t be responsible for the kinds of headaches D’Angelo Russell produced last season.

At his introductory news conference Tuesday, the 6-foot-9 Ingram refrained from making any predictions about how he might perform in his rookie season with the Lakers. What the 18-year-old small forward did promise was that he would be coach-able.

Ingram dropped that exact word on three separate occasions as he fielded questions at the Lakers’ practice facility with second-round draft pick Ivica Zubac. Not once was Ingram guided into answering the question like that.

If Luol Deng starts ahead of him?

“I’ll be coachable enough to do whatever the coach wants me to do,” Ingram replied.

His expectations for upcoming season?

“Just to work hard,” he said. “Just come here, be coachable, be aggressive each and every day, and never miss a day, never take a day off.”

Is he ready for the scrutiny that comes with replacing Kobe Bryant as the face of the Lakers?

“There’s no other Kobe Bryant,” he said. “I just know coming into this, I just have to be coachable. I do whatever the coach wants, I make him happy, then I’m happy.”

This all sounded a little corny, even a little rehearsed, but it wasn’t insignificant to a once-proud Lakers franchise that was frustrated and embarrassed last season by Russell’s immaturity.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:56 am    Post subject:

Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram embraces the pressure, symbolic and otherwise, of lofty expectations
by Bill Oram - ocregister.com

On the official tour of his new basketball home, Brandon Ingram walked onto the court of the Lakers practice facility and upstairs to Jeanie Buss’s office to gaze at the franchise’s championship trophies; into the weight room to eye the iron he will use to pack muscle onto his wiry frame; and to the locker room, where the tour stopped in front of the locker where his No. 14 jersey will hang.

“(General Manager) Mitch (Kupchak) told me I had some big shoes to fill,” Ingram said.

The previous occupant of that space wore size 14 Nikes. He also won five NBA titles, was selected to 18 All-Star Games and spent 20 years with the Lakers.

The symbolism said it all.

Kobe Bryant is out, Ingram is in.

Being named heir to the Black Mamba is a task no young player deserves. While the Lakers no doubt would like to shield Ingram from facing unreasonable expectations in the infancy of his career, there’s no question that the type of player they hoped to find at the top of the draft would take up Bryant’s mantle.

Byron Scott was rightly criticized last year for comparing D’Angelo Russell to Magic Johnson on draft night, but the Lakers putting Ingram in Bryant’s old seat sends a similar message.

Either Ingram did not read Henry IV, or he’s just too cool to care that the head that wears the crown is supposed to lie uneasily.

“It’s all good pressure for me,” Ingram said Tuesday. “I just take it as motivation for me to do the right thing on the court and off the court.”

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:57 am    Post subject:

Brandon Ingram is eager to play with D’Angelo Russell
by Drew Hernandez - lakersoutsiders.com

To many who watched the Lakers last season you could see how great D’Angelo Russell’s court vision was, and Brandon Ingram took note of it too. In his introductory press conference, Ingram mentioned he has spoken to Russell regularly and Brandon spoke highly of his elite court vision.

Ingram’s been talking regularly to D’Angelo Russell, and is eager to play with him. Has spoken of how Russell sees the floor at elite level.
2:45 PM - 5 Jul 2016


Many believe Russell and Ingram are the ones with the most talent on the team. D’Angelo Russell finished the year as one of two teenagers to average 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per 36 (the other being LeBron James). Brandon Ingram, on the other hand, averaged 17 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists per game in college. They are both extremely talented and it’s a great sign to see both of them develop a friendship.

The video below was taken right before the press conference and you can see D’Angelo Russell supporting his newest teammates before their introductions to the media.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:59 am    Post subject:

Lakers officially sign Ivica Zubac to a contract
by Thai Luong - lakersoutsiders.com

Ivica Zubac was officially introduced today at the Lakers’ facility. The Lakers selected the 19-year-old center out of Croatia with their 32nd pick in this year’s draft. Zubac is a big center at 7 foot and 265 pounds. According to Kevin Ding of Bleacher Report, Zubac was ranked much higher on the Lakers’ draft board than where he was eventually taken:

The Lakers also hope they added a true big man to that young crew Thursday in 7’0″ Croatian center Ivica Zubac, 19. The team saw him as a lottery talent and pegged him to go in the top 20 before landing him at No. 32

Today, the Lakers officially signed Zubac to contract offer.

Ivica Zubac's contract with the Lakers will be a three-year deal, with two years guaranteed.
4:01 PM - 5 Jul 2016


Zubac had first-round talent but fell to the second round. The Lakers will give him a couple of years to prove himself to them. He grew up a huge Lakers fan; this must be a great day for him.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:00 am    Post subject:

Luke Walton adds Jud Buechler to the Lakers' coaching staff
by Ryan Kelapire - silverscreenandroll.com

Another Arizona Wildcat joins the Los Angeles coaching staff

The Lakers have hired Jud Buechler as an assistant coach, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

Like Lakers head coach Luke Walton and assistant coach Jesse Mermuys, Buechler is a product of the University of Arizona.

Buechler, 48, played in the NBA for 12 years (from 1990-2002), including stints with the New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, and Orlando Magic. He won three NBA Championships with the Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen-led Bulls, and was best known for his shooting ability, as he was a career 36.6 percent 3-point shooter.

Buechler has never coached in the NBA and it's unclear if he's coached at any level before, though he does have experience coaching his daughter's volleyball team.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:35 am    Post subject:

Check out these videos of the Lakers practicing for Las Vegas Summer League
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

No, this isn't a Las Vegas induced fever dream.

The Los Angeles Lakers are putting the finishing touches on their preparation for Las Vegas Summer League. The team gathered for one of their final times working together before the summer exhibition kicks off in Las Vegas on Friday, and the team is already showing promising signs of growth following the worst season in franchise history.

During the Lakers' introductory press conference for rookies Ivica Zubac and Brandon Ingram on Tuesday, both rookies raved about their new head coach and sounded excited to play in his Golden State Warriors-inspired system. After fans spent last season watching an offensive system seemingly inspired by bumper-to-bumper Los Angeles rush hour traffic, the promise of ball movement and creativity is an exciting one.

With the caveat that it's just one summer league practice possession, the Lakers look like they are getting a head start on implementing the type of off-ball activity that is so devastating for the Warriors. It would be beyond foolish to hope for similar results from the Lakers this season, but the young core is taking baby steps, as is evident on this possession the Lakers shared on their Twitter account:

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Lakers 5-On-5 Scrimmage: Brandon Ingram, D'Angelo Russell, Randle, Nance (Video)
by lakersnation.com

VIDEO


Last edited by lakersfreak on Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:37 am    Post subject:

Everyone on the Lakers is impressed with what they’ve seen from Brandon Ingram
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angles’ new addition is making a good first impression

The limited available video of the Los Angeles Lakers’ practice on Wednesday made it look like things were looking good on the court. The player’s comments afterwards made it clear their team building is going equally well off of it.

There were no reports of the team singing “Kumbaya” to end practice, but their post-scrimmage quotes were basically the basketball equivalent. It’s summer time, which means optimism is in high supply, even for teams coming off of a season as moribund and joyless as the Lakers' 2015-16 campaign often was.

Helping matters is the team's addition of second overall pick Brandon Ingram who, judging by what the team was saying about him, impressed pretty much everyone within a 50-mile radius of the Lakers' El Segundo practice facility.

“He’s a frail kid, but he’s tough,” Nance told Joey Ramirez of Lakers.com. “On screens, he’ll hit you. On rebounds, he’ll hit you. He gives you what he’s got. That immediately takes away the soft label or the tiny label. You have what you have to work with, and he uses his to the best of his abilities.”

That wasn't all Nance had to say, and he was hardly the only one impressed with the Lakers' youngest player:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:38 am    Post subject:

Lakers' Larry Nance Jr. considers first-round draft pick Brandon Ingram the 'real deal'
by Mark Medina - ocregister.com

Brandon Ingram’s skeletal, 195-pound frame prompted a knee-jerk reaction from a Lakers teammate.

“This kid is real skinny,” Larry Nance Jr. recalled thinking. “He can play, but it’ll take a while.”

Then, Nance Jr. experienced Ingram defending him with force. He became physical when he fought through screens. He did not shy away from contact when he fought for rebounds.

Nance Jr. soon phoned his father, a former 13-year NBA player and delivered a message he has repeated to anyone else who has asked.

“He’s the real deal,” Nance said of Ingram.

Ingram hopes to cast that impression more when the Lakers open summer league play against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. Ingram’s teammates, however, only needed a handful of practices before they started glowing about the No. 2 overall pick in last month’s NBA draft.

“It gives me motivation,” Ingram said. “But I always go back to that quote, ‘You’ve never arrived,’” Ingram said. “It’s a good compliment. But I’ll have to keep working.”

So, Ingram wasted little time during Wednesday’s practice trying to make a favorable impression on Lakers coach Luke Walton, who has said Ingram was his preferred choice in the draft.

As he has strived to reduce turnovers, Ingram still left Walton “very excited about what he can do” with his ball-handling skills, post presence and defensive aggressiveness. Ingram amazed Nance enough with his quickness that he said Ingram “runs like a deer.”

“He has the whole skill set,” Walton said. “He’s going to have to get stronger and learn the NBA game. But he’s got a great feel for how to get open and what’s happening on the court. For me, that’s huge.”

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:40 am    Post subject:

Brandon Ingram expected to play in Summer League regardless of contract situation
by Honi Ahmadian - lakersoutsiders.com

The Los Angeles Lakers have already signed second round pick Ivica Zubac to his rookie deal. Second overall pick Brandon Ingram, however, has not yet been signed.

According to Mike Bresnahan of TWC SportsNet, however, Ingram is still expected to play in Summer League.

Not yet. But he's expected to play in summer league even if he doesn't sign. https://twitter.com/jkrodgers/status/750807157180735489
2:46 PM - 6 Jul 2016


This is a bit of a strange situation. The Lakers are likely holding out on singing Ingram until they are sure they don’t need any extra cap space for free agency.

Ingram playing without a contract is a bit of a risk due to injury concerns. However, it will benefit him to get acquainted with the system and his new teammates, namely D’Angelo Russell, as early as possible.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:41 am    Post subject:

Lakers Announce Hiring of Marco Nunez as Athletic Trainer
by nba.com

Nina Hsieh named Assistant Athletic Trainer

The Los Angeles Lakers announced today the hiring of Marco Nuñez as the team’s new Athletic Trainer, replacing long-time Athletic Trainer Gary Vitti, who recently retired after 32 seasons with the organization. The team also promoted Nina Hsieh to Assistant Athletic Trainer and renewed the contract of Strength and Conditioning Coach Tim DiFrancesco.

Nuñez, who originally joined the Lakers as Assistant Athletic Trainer during the 2008-09 season, will expand his responsibilities working hand-in-hand with the training staff, coaching staff, and front office to ensure the highest level of on-court performance. In his new position, the Los Angeles native is charged with year-round oversight of the care, prevention, and treatment of injuries to the players on the roster, and is also chiefly responsible for player rehabilitation programs and emergency on-court procedures.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:42 am    Post subject:

Lakers acquire Jose Calderon from Bulls via trade
by Drew Garrison - silverscreenandroll.com

The Lakers add a veteran point guard to their group.

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired veteran point guard Jose Calderon via trade from the Chicago Bulls, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. The final terms of the deal remain unconfirmed, but Chicago was seeking out trade partners willing to absorb salary following Dwyane Wade's decision to leave the Miami Heat to make a move to the Windy City. The Lakers may have also acquired two future second-round draft picks for their troubles, according to Mike Bresnahan of Time Warner Cable SportsNet.

It could be a single future second-round pick however, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

Calderon played 72 games with the New York Knicks last season prior before being traded to Chicago as part of the package that sent Derrick Rose to Madison Square Garden. Rajon Rondo inking a deal with the Bulls made Calderon a roster excess soaking up a meager $7.7 million in expiring cap space. Chicago is also moving Mike Dunleavy's remaining $7 million in salary over the next two seasons to create Wade space.

Calderon's deal is expiring, so it's not a terrible deal for a team to take on, and he can provide meaningful minutes behind D'Angelo Russell in the rotation while being another veteran presence for a young squad.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:44 am    Post subject:

Snoop Dogg gave Kobe Bryant a car as a retirement gift
by Grant Goldberg - lakersoutsiders.com

Kobe Bryant no longer plays basketball for the Lakers, but his legacy still runs throughout the world. In a small sliver of this world is Los Angeles and Southern California, and those that hit it big time here will be loved almost unconditionally. There’s always mutual respect and love exchanged between celebrities, an example being Laker fan and Long Beach’s Snoop Dogg has always been known to show the Mamba some love.

This time, the D-O-Double G took it to an even higher (well, actually, lower) level in giving Kobe his retirement gift.

Unbelievable retirement gift from my man Snoop today #KB20
6:03 PM - 6 Jul 2016


Snoop and Kobe are known for doing things big, so this should come as no surprise. The SoCal legends are two of the most well-known figures in their respective professions, ranking among the greatest of all time.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:10 am    Post subject: What can Jose Calderon offer to the Lakers?

What can Jose Calderon offer to the Lakers?

By Thai Luong-lakersoutsiders.com

The Lakers’ free agency period got a bit more interesting when they acquired Jose Calderon from the Chicago Bulls after the Bulls needed to clear their cap space to welcome their hometown star, Dwyane Wade, to the Windy City.

In addition to acquiring Calderon off the Bulls for salary dump purposes, the Lakers were able to take two future second round picks from them as well.

This move can be looked at purely as a business transaction with the Lakers absorbing a player’s salary and the promise of future draft picks. It’s true that the Lakers gained more assets than they gave up, but don’t undermine the player they got in the deal in Calderon.

Calderon is a seasoned veteran that could provide a stable backup and leadership to D’Angelo Russell. Calderon has played in the NBA for more than 10 seasons. He also has had many experiences playing with Spain in the Olympics. The Lakers wanted to surround the team with players who can provide leadership, experience, and trust. Calderon would fit nicely with new veterans in the team in Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng.

Throughout his ten seasons in the NBA, Calderon shot a career average of 41% from deep and 48% from the field. In the 2007-2008 season with the Toronto Raptors, Calderon joined the elite group of players to shoot at least 50% from the field, 40% from deep and 90% from the free-throw line. Calderon is known for his efficient shooting, play-making and pick-and-roll offense, which fits perfectly with Luke Walton and the Lakers. In eight seasons with the Toronto Raptors, Calderon averaged ten points and seven assists. He can offer the Lakers a solid backup point guard off the bench.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:44 pm    Post subject: Lakers bring back Marcelo “The Catalyst” Huertas on a two-year deal.

Lakers bring back Marcelo “The Catalyst” Huertas on a two-year deal.

After trading for point guard Jose Calderon, the Lakers have agreed to bring back Marcelo Huertas on a two-year deal. The “Catalyst,” known for his quick energy off of the bench will be the third point guard in the Lakers’ rotation. Last year, Huertas averaged 4.5 points and 3.4 assists in 16 minutes of play.

Last year, Huertas struggled to find his role and had a difficult time competing against NBA competition. After the All-Star break, Huertas found his stride as a decent passer. He is a fun player to watch in the open floor with his vision and creativity. He will probably thrive in Luke Walton’s offensive system that promotes creativity.

Huertas will likely play behind D’Angelo Russell and Jose Calderon. Huertas will enter his second season in the NBA at the age of 34.

Welcome back, Marcelo!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:20 pm    Post subject:

Lakers 2016 Summer League Preview: The rebuild marches onward
by Ben Rosales - silverscreenandroll.com

As the confusing and at times inexplicable whirlwind of free agency has largely gone by for the Lakers, we turn our eyes toward watching the future of the team in Las Vegas.

Every iteration of this column for the past few years has had some statement attempting to assuage readers here beset with worry about the Los Angeles Lakers' moribund free agency fortunes by pointing toward the team's summer league team as a sign of optimism. Lo and behold, we are confronted with a similar situation this year, although instead of the Lakers failing to retain their own free agents (Dwight Howard) or falling short in their chase of the big fish (Carmelo Anthony, LaMarcus Aldridge), the team has made a pair of controversial signings in size and length to a pair of solid albeit unspectacular options in Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng. Even though this is a welcome departure from the team's utter apathy in pursuing mid-tier options in past years, the end result nevertheless feels underwhelming when viewed in light of the positive momentum that preceded free agency between the draft and the Lakers' coaching change.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this summer league team should be ... wait for it ... a reason to feel better about the team again! This should especially hit home this time around since Mark Madsen isn't implementing Byron Scott's system for a roster that amounted to a juggernaut by summer league standards last year. Instead, new addition Jesse Mermuys, who has two stints as Toronto's summer league head coach and one year leading the Raptors' D-League squad, will be showing the Lakers the system Luke Walton brought over from Golden State for what again should be hell of a summer league squad. To wit, the Lakers will dress a pair of second-overall picks, a trio of late first-round and early second-round picks, and a panoply of interesting undrafted and veteran free agent options.

That this team, like last year's team, has a lot of players who will end up on the final roster is one hand cause for concern given how young the overall squad is, but also a reminder that no matter how free agency went, the Lakers are only going to go as far as the kids can take them next season. As such, getting our first taste of the young core's development under an actually functional system and coach should be fascinating as they take the next step in the rebuilding process. Without further ado, we will take a closer look at each participant on the squad, separating them into the recent draftees, current sophomores, undrafted free agents, and the rest of the bunch:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:21 pm    Post subject:

Summer League head coach Jesse Mermuys gives insight on team’s offense
by Grant Goldberg - lakersoutsiders.com

Friday night, the Lakers play their first Las Vegas Summer League game of 2016 when the team will kick things off at 7:30 PST against Buddy Hield and the New Orleans Pelicans.

Los Angeles will be coached by Jesse Mermuys, having a roster headlined by D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram. Luke Walton will have a heavy influence on the team in practice, but it is Mermuys who is running the Summer League show.

In an interview for Lakers.com, Mermuys lent some information about what to expect in the coming days in Las Vegas. Strictly talking about basketball, especially since the team’s two best players aren’t old enough to fully take in what Vegas has to offer.

When asked about how similar the Summer League offense will be to the Lakers’ actual offense, Mermuys said that the framework will be there, but fans can expect it to be slower than the regular season offense. Mermuys stressed that it was important for the team to be patient in order to get things right. While we will not get the full show in Las Vegas, the basic principles of the offense will be on display at the Thomas and Mack Center.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:22 pm    Post subject:

Lakers summer league preview: Five key storylines
by Mark Medina - ocregister.com

The smiles and laughs came quickly. Not long into their first summer league practice, Coach Luke Walton was already making a favorable impression on his young players.

He participated in rebounding drills with his players. He knocked down some 3-pointers. And he told some jokes.

“It’s a different feel,” Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. said. “But it’s fun.”

Few would describe the Lakers’ 2015-16 season that way after they finished with a franchise-worst 17-65 record. Beyond the results, some players grew frustrated with former Lakers coach Byron Scott and the stern approach he believed was necessary with a young roster. Walton has taken a different approach heading into the Lakers’ summer league opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

“We’ve got a new group of guys, young guys who are hungry to learn,” Walton said. “We’re going out there to coach them every day and they’re asking questions. They’re busting their tails for us. I’m having a blast right now.”

How will the Lakers carry over those feel-good offseason vibes into summer league? Here are five things to monitor:

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:23 pm    Post subject:

D'Angelo Russell is on his grind, ready for the summer league
by Mike Bresnahan - latimes.com

Brandon Ingram will play in the NBA’s summer league, by far the No. 1 reason to watch the Lakers in Las Vegas over the next week or so.

Reason No. 2 would be to gauge the development of D’Angelo Russell.

He was up and down as a rookie last season, losing his starting job after 20 games, getting it back after the All-Star break and then getting badly entangled in the surreptitious Nick Young video incident.

It’s been almost three months since the Lakers’ season ended. How will Russell look when summer league play begins Friday against New Orleans?

“I’ve been grinding, man,” Russell said Wednesday. “I’ve been in the gym, trying to get more consistent on making shots, developing a better post game.”

He set a Lakers rookie record for three-pointers in a season (130) and also had an eight-game run starting in late February in which he averaged 23.3 points and 4.8 assists. His overall numbers, though, were only fair: 13.2 points and 3.3 assists a game. Nothing outstanding for the second pick in the 2015 draft, but also no reason to write off a teenager as a bust.

Lakers Coach Luke Walton said he sensed Russell’s attempts to improve.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 11:25 pm    Post subject:

Luke Walton A Breath Of Fresh Air For Lakers Young Core
by Serena Williams - lakersnation.com

There’s a different vibe around the Los Angeles Lakers practice facility with Luke Walton in town. The Lakers new head coach can be seen jumping in on drills, rebounding for the young guys and joking around with the players before practice. Forward Larry Nance, Jr., who described Walton as a “player’s coach,” even said Walton was knocking down a few threes from beyond the arc.

“I’m a fan,” Nance smiled after finishing up practice. “It’s a different feel and it’s fun.”

In contrast to the tough love, old school, authority figure mentality of former head coach Byron Scott, Walton’s coaching style and overall demeanor seem to be an early breath of fresh air for the young core. There’s something about Walton’s way of communicating that’s creating a sense of accountability and responsibility among the players, especially for second-year guard D’Angelo Russell.

“Demand of execution. Demand of making the right play. Holding yourself accountable,” Russell said about practicing under Walton. “If you don’t, he’s going to let you feel it. He’s got a great coaching staff around him that let’s you hear it if you don’t make the right play, and it helps you learn from it. You mess up, and there’s a teaching moment after it, and that goes into the next play. If you mess up, you learn from the last time you messed up. I feel like they do a good job of just communicating with that.”

It sounds like that communication is also rubbing off on Russell. Walton praised Russell for his vocal leadership and said his young point guard has been in “constant communication” about where he needs to improve, one of those areas being limiting turnovers, which Walton said he chatted with him about the other day.

During Russell’s rookie season, communication with his head coach seemed to be a frequent battle. Whether it was a lack of, miscommunications between parties, struggling with how to get through to an 18-year-old fresh out of one year of college, or simply a combination of all of the above (most likely) remains to be seen. But, while Scott was hoping to instill maturity and humility in his young rookie, Russell often appeared (at least to the media) confused about roles and what exactly his coach wanted from him.

Continued....
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:10 am    Post subject:

The word "communication" sure appears often these times....
_________________
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Lakers depth chart

PG Johnson / Goodrich
SG Bryant / West / Scott
SF Baylor / Worthy / Cooper
PF Mikkelsen / Hairston / McAdoo / Gasol
C Chamberlain / Abdul-Jabbar / O'Neal / Mikan
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:46 am    Post subject:

Russell Powers Rout In Summer League Opener
by Joey Ramirez - nba.com

Last year, the Lakers’ Summer League team traveled to Las Vegas with a trophy in mind and returned with only one win.

Thanks largely to D’Angelo Russell’s stat-stuffing night, this year’s edition has already matched that total by steamrolling New Orleans, 85-65, in their Summer League opener on Friday.

“Last year we had had a reality check as a group,” Russell said after racking up 20 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals.* “This year was way more fun. We had a collective group that had fun playing with each other.”

Russell was efficient with his shot selection, going 7-of-12 from the field while also fighting for three offensive rebounds.

After breaking the franchise’s rookie record with 130 3-pointers last season, Russell spent much of the summer in the weight room and on the floor with the goal of crafting a stronger post game.

At first glance, all those hours seem to have been worth it as the 6-foot-5 point guard was able to consistently establish position down low against defending Pelicans. He flashed a couple of nice moves in the post, including a baseline spin that led to an and-1 layup and a turnaround jumper.

“You just can’t put little guards like that on him,” said Larry Nance Jr. said. “He’ll just punish them.”

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:48 am    Post subject:

The young Lakers had nothing but love for each other after their 85-65 win over the Pelicans
by Harrison Faigen - silverscreenandroll.com

Los Angeles’ young core is building chemistry on their trip to Vegas

The lanky teenager came running out of the tunnel on to the court for warm-ups, but caught himself and grinned. Brandon Ingram's teammates had gotten him with a classic rookie prank, sending him out onto the court all on his own.

“Yeah [I got pranked],” Ingram acknowledged with a smile when asked about the moment.“They said ‘rookie, you got it first,’ I ran out, I thought someone was behind me. I looked back, and all I could do was smile.”

Ingram may have had the first smile of the night, but he certainly didn’t have the last in the Los Angeles Lakers’ 85-65 win over the New Orleans Pelicans in their first game of Las Vegas Summer League.

The Lakers’ little joke at Ingram’s expense was one of the few times the second overall pick looked like a rookie in his debut. The second overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft ignited a Lakers-heavy crowd, his smooth game looking like an instant fit for the NBA.

Ingram scored 12 points on nine shots and looked comfortable at the NBA level already, impressing fans and his new teammates with a combination of smooth scoring, deflections, and weak-side blocks.

“Kid can play,” said an impressed Larry Nance, Jr. “He can do it in a lot of different ways. Shooting, driving, dunks. He’s just extremely versatile, and I’m looking forward to playing with him.”

“He was aggressive, but he was just feeling the game out,” said D’Angelo Russell of the Lakers’ new second overall pick’s debut. “He didn’t really force anything, so I think it went pretty well.”

Just Ingram’s production would have been enough to call it a successful night for the Lakers, considering it was just the first game of summer league after all. However, he received some support from his teammates as well.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:51 am    Post subject:

Brandon Ingram's summer league debut fuels Lakers' belief that they've added an exciting young talent
by Bill Oram - ocregister.com

The final line from Brandon Ingram’s Lakers debut might seem fairly pedestrian: 12 points, four rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a pair of blocked shots.

But it was hard for those around the Lakers not to be excited by what they saw from the No. 2 overall pick in the Lakers’ 85-65 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in Friday night’s NBA Summer League opener.

Sitting on the baseline, Jordan Clarkson, who is not playing summer league this season, said he found himself itching to get on the court with the 6-foot-9 rookie.

“He’s long, man,” said Clarkson, fresh off inking a four-year, $50 million contract. “And you can just see his natural scoring instincts, some of the pull-back shots he made, defensively he’s, even if he’s a step behind he’s long enough to make up for it. He surprised me.”

Ingram’s wiry frame might be an issue in the regular season, but against Summer League competition, especially a Pelicans team that included few NBA roster players, he moved with ease. On one second-quarter possession, he used a hesitation dribble to blow past Pelicans forward Nick Minnerath for a two-handed dunk.

“It’s definitely exciting,” Clarkson said.

D’Angelo Russell knows something about the expectations Ingram is facing. In his summer league debut last July, he shot just 3 for 8 for eight points.

“It just looks easy for him,” said Russell, who led all players with 20 points Friday. “You know what I’m saying. He has some God-given talent with his length and athleticism. I don’t feel like he’ll struggle (transitioning to the NBA).”

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:52 am    Post subject:

Ivica Zubac earns both praise and a new nickname in Lakers’ Summer League debut
by Mark Medina - insidesocal.com

The crowd roared into a frenzy as they saw how those long and outstretched arms performed something magical.

Only eight minutes into his first NBA Summer League game, 19-year-old Bosnian born center Ivica Zubac threw out his arm to swat a shot. Six seconds later, Zubac did the exact same thing.

Lakers fans may have never heard of the 7-foot-1, 240-pound rookie center until the Lakers drafted him No. 32 overall nearly two weeks ago. But it did not take long for them to fall in love with him during the Lakers’ 85-65 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in Summer League play on Friday at the Thomas & Mack Center. So much that as Zubac collected 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting, five rebounds and three blocks, several of the fans chanted “Zu Block.”

Apparently, that is a nickname Zubac both endorsed and already had.

“My old teammates gave me that nickname,” Zubac said. “When I separated ways from them, that nickname was forgotten.”

Still, it wasn’t clear if Zubac said “Zu Block” or “Zu Blocka.” Either way, more clarity on his nickname could emerge when the Lakers play against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday at Thomas & Mack Center.

Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. had already likened Zubac to former NBA blocking specialist Dikembe Mutombo. Lakers point guard D’Angelo Russell already referred to Zubac as “Big Z” and compared him to Memphis center Marc Gasol. Lakers summer league coach Jesse Mermuys affectionately called Zubac “the big fella.”

“A big fella with some sweetness to him,” Russell clarified. “He’s really good. I don’t think people know how good he is yet.”

The Lakers did not know as much either.

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