The Lakers are in need of a lot of things at a very low price, as the team prepares for the season after next when it will have all the cap space in the world to spend on any available free agent they can convince to come to Los Angeles.
Before then, they have to get through this upcoming season, and do so by filling out the roster with guys who are in a situation where they need some exposure in order to perhaps earn a bigger, multi-year deal from someone else the following season.
The signings of Chris Kaman and Nick Young certainly fall into that category, as does the Lakers’ most recent acquisition.
From Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angles Times:
The report has been confirmed by Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles.
Johnson is a classic “three-and-D” guy, although he’s historically been at the lower end of the spectrum in both of those categories. But what he does provide is some athleticism that L.A. is sorely lacking, with a starting lineup that features an aging Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, along with a version of Kobe Bryant that will be questionable at best, at least to start the season, following surgery to repair his torn Achilles.
Johnson began his career with the Timberwolves, and averaged 8.0 points and 2.5 rebounds in 19.1minutes per game for the Suns last season. He shot a career-best 40.7 percent from the field, but connected on just 32.3 percent of his looks from three-point distance.
The power dynamics within the Clippers are shifting, and the ground apparently hasn’t settled yet.
Doc Rivers has been stripped of his presidency. Jerry West became a consultant. Lawrence Frank now holds the most prestigious title in the front office, and newly hired Michael Winger will report to him. Also falling under Frank in the organizational chart? Trent Redden.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN:
Longtime Cleveland Cavaliers executive Trent Redden will join the LA Clippers’ front-office staff as assistant general manager, league sources said on Monday.
Redden was ousted in Cleveland with David Griffin. He’ll help the Clippers simply by providing another capable executive. They’ve long needed to add front-office employees (and pay for them).
But Redden also exacerbates the issue of Frank’s underlings having far more front-office experience than him. As the Clippers try to establish their new setup, we’ll see whether that creates complications.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has missed significant time the last two seasons due to complications from back surgery.
Could those issues derail his career?
Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I fully expect to coach all year,” Kerr says in a no-nonsense tone. “That’s my expectation. And for many years to come.”
On the most basic level, it’d be good if Kerr feels well enough to coach. The headaches sound miserable, regardless of his job.
But it’d also be ideal if the NBA didn’t lose one of its best coaches just as he’s getting started. The 51-year-old Kerr might wind up the greatest coach of all time. Obviously that’s a long way off, but he has that potential – health permitting.
The Hawks began last season with just two point guards, one fewer than most teams – especially notable because neither starter Dennis Schroder nor backup Malcolm Delaney was experienced for his role.
Schroder and Delaney return, but Atlanta is adding another option – Quinn Cook.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Cook is a borderline NBA player. He might not make the regular-season roster. He also might supplant Delaney for a rotation spot.
A 24-year-old who has spent most of the last two years in the D-League (also getting stints with the Mavericks and Pelicans), Cook is a good outside shooter. He’s also steady, if unspectacular, in his lead-guard duties.
This is a solid flier at a position the Hawks could use depth.
The Knicks signing Nigel Hayes leaked first.
But New York didn’t stop there.
The New York Knickerbockers announced today that the team has signed forwards Jamel Artis and Nigel Hayes and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes.
Like Hayes, Artis (Pittsburgh) and Rathan-Mayes (Florida State) went undrafted this year – making them eligible to be waived and assigned to the Knicks’ minor-league affiliate. That’s likely all three’s fate.
But first, each will have an opportunity to make the regular-season roster. The Knicks have just 14 players with guaranteed salaries, leaving one roster spot for someone on a standard contract. Chasson Randle (unguaranteed) is the incumbent choice, but these three could supplant him.