Pau Gasol and Rajon Rondo have both traveled a similar path this season. Both were offered up in a trade for Chris Paul, and when that didn’t work out they became the names fans of the Lakers and Celtics talked about shopping. For their part, both teams said they wanted to keep the guy publically, but on the market told teams they would move him for an elite star.
Then there were the Rondo for Gasol rumors. Those came up again and the two teams talked last week and killed the idea, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The Lakers are unwilling to trade Pau Gasol for Rondo, making a deal with Boston unlikely before the trade deadline Thursday.
“Unless they give up Gasol, they’re not going to get a top-level point guard,” said a person familiar with the situation but not authorized to discuss it publicly.
Take note, that is clearly from a Los Angeles source. Talk to a Celtics source and you would get that they were not going to trade Rondo in that scenario. (Remember that principle this week — all rumor leaks are spin, so figure out who gains from it when you hear it.)
The Lakers may be slow to part with Gasol to make a major overhaul (unless ownership in Orlando changes its mind about Dwight Howard), but expect them to move one of their two first round picks for someone.
That someone could be Michael Beasley, reports the Times. He can provide scoring punch and is an expiring contract.
A more likely scenario is the Lakers giving up one of their picks — their own and Dallas’ first rounder, part of the Lamar Odom trade (think Dallas would like that pick back now?) — for a point guard. If I were a betting man I’d guess Ramon Sessions out of Cleveland, but a number of other guys like Detroit’s Will Bynum can be had for less if the Lakers want to hold on to those first rounders.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.
Stephen Curry might be back sooner than expected. It’s been one week since he suffered the sprained MCL in his right knee that led the Warriors to rule him out for at least two weeks, but head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday that there’s at least an outside chance he could play Tuesday in Game 2 of Golden State’s second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Via ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
Obviously, the smart money is on Curry not playing this early in his timetable. But the fact that it’s even on the table would seem to indicate that, barring a setback, he’ll be back for at least some of the series, which tips off Sunday.