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Report: Lonzo Ball could speak with other teams in the lottery before June 22 draft

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Is everything not going according to plan in Lakerland?

The projected No. 2 overall pick, Lonzo Ball, has been staunch that he wants the Los Angeles Lakers to draft him. But his first workout reportedly did not go well, and a second one has been scheduled for Friday.

Meanwhile, rumors have swirled that L.A. would be interested in other top players De'Aaron Fox or Josh Jackson if they believe Ball isn’t the right fit.

Now, it appears that Ball has softened his stance, and he could be looking to cast his net a little wider.

Via ESPN:

Ball will work out for the Lakers a second time on Friday at an undisclosed location in Los Angles county. He is hopeful the Lakers will give him some indication whether he’s “separated himself” throughout the draft process. Ball continues to have no plans to speak with or workout for the Boston Celtics, who hold the No. 1 pick.

After Friday’s workout he will consider talking to other lottery teams who have asked to speak with him, according to the source.

Lonzo Ball worked out for the Lakers on Wednesday and reiterated his desire to play for his hometown team.
Ball is hoping to give the Lakers an up-close look at his training regimen and work ethic.

This could be smoke battling smoke. Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have been good about masking their true intentions, at least externally. They’ve worked out Markelle Fultz, and have been diligent about shopping the No. 2 overall pick before June 22.

It’s not clear whether the Lakers have a good poker face or if their new regime honestly needs more time to look at all the prospects, but in either case the optics look correct.

It could also be a genuine fear from the Ball camp that the Lakers could pass on him. If what Shelburne says is correct and Ball wants to show L.A. brass his regimen, perhaps he’s just spooked because he was out of shape the first time around?

NBA folks still doubt that L.A. would pass on Ball at No. 2, but we’ve got just a week left until the draft and now is when things should really heat up.

Phoenix Suns with quality solar eclipse joke on Twitter

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With the cooler-than-I-expected solar eclipse on Monday came a lot of bad solar eclipse jokes on Twitter. Because that’s what Twitter does. Especially the NBA Twitterverse. We knew a lot of “where on the flat earth will Kyrie Irving watch the eclipse?” jokes were coming.

There were a couple of good ones, however.

Appropriately, the Phoenix Suns won the day.

One personal favorite here, an old meme that never goes out of style.

Report: Other small-market teams championing Pacers’ tampering allegation against Lakers

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The NBA, at the Pacers’ request, is investigating whether the Lakers tampered by making impressible contact with Paul George.

Bob Kravitz of WTHR

In fact, there’s word that other small- and mid-market team officials have reached out to the Pacers and told them, “Good for you. Fight the good fight.”

Small-market teams whine too much about the disadvantages they face, but tampering isn’t really a market-size issue. Remember, under Mitch Kupchak, the Lakers were known as the only team that didn’t tamper.

The Lakers have advantages because George is from the area, and Los Angeles offers immense marketability. That’d be true whether or not they contacted George or his agent before he officially became a free agent.

I understand the desire to take down the big, bad Lakers – especially now that they appear poised to become truly big and bad again. But it’s hard to find a team that can cast a stone at them from anywhere other than a glass house.

Report: Clippers hiring ex-Cavaliers executive Trent Redden

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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’ Steve Kerr: I expect to coach all season and for many years ahead

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu
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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.