Author: Brett Pollakoff

Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat

Rumor: If Dwyane Wade leaves Heat in free agency, Lakers are an option


Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat are reportedly at an impasse in terms of what he should be paid on a new contract for the next three seasons.

And for the first time ever, it has Wade considering playing somewhere else.

Wade has a player option for next season valued at $16.1 million, but with his history of injury, he’d prefer to opt out in order to sign a long-term deal that would guarantee him substantially more. The team, however — perhaps wary of the notion that Wade will still be capable of producing at an elite level in the final year of a new deal — prefers, at this point, to pay him much less than he is asking.

That opened the door for Wade to weigh his options, and anytime a star-level player is potentially going to become available, the Lakers are mentioned as a possible destination.

From Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report:

Some Heat officials had held out hope Wade would take the Dirk, Duncan approach late in career: below-market, 1-year deals….

That was never a given. Wade made it clear when he opted out (costing himself $6M in ’14-15), he had TV windfall in mind…

If Dragic signs to #’s expected, Wade wd be 3rd-highest paid on team in 15-16. If Whiteside develops, cd be 4th/5th in 16-17….

This is a rare situation where neither side really has the leverage. Management & the player r both incredibly popular…..

Finally, if Wade went anywhere, at any point, I’ve typically heard L.A. as an option. But I still expect Heat to sort this out.

Let’s emphasize that last point, that it’s more than likely the Heat and Wade come to an amicable understanding that allows him to stay in Miami.

Now, as far as the Lakers are concerned, they have the cap space to sign a max-level player, and they are somewhat desperate to infuse star-level talent into the organization as quickly as possible.

But giving a veteran with a recent history of injury issues a high-salary, multi-year deal — even one as talented as Wade has proven to be when healthy — is suicide when trying to set the franchise up for a long-term, sustained level of success.

Doc Rivers on report that Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan had a falling out: ‘I can put this to rest: They get along great’

Los Angeles Clippers v Atlanta Hawks

Once the Clippers were eliminated from the postseason, questions immediately began to surface as to what the makeup of the team might look like next season.

The core of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan has yet to carry L.A. to the promised land, and the Clippers need to decide if Jordan is worth locking up with a max contract this summer in order to keep the team intact.

A report emerged that Paul and Jordan had a falling out during the season, perhaps rooted in Jordan’s inability to shoot free throws, and the work he was or was not willing to put in to turn things around.

Doc Rivers, as you might imagine, was eager to quash those rumors during a recent radio appearance.

From Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles:

“I can put this to rest: They get along great,” Rivers told Fred Roggin of The Beast 980 on Thursday. “Clearly, like everybody, they don’t get along all the time, and they don’t get along with me all the time, either, by the way. I don’t see that as an issue. I think all three, and I’m including Blake in this as well, understand how important the other guy is to them. Meaning, they all three need each other to win, and I think all three get that and all three know that and all three want to do it together. To me, that’s the most important thing.”

It’s beyond interesting that Rivers threw Blake Griffin’s name into the mix during this discussion, because there were rumblings out of Los Angeles during the season that Paul and Griffin had a strained relationship at times, as well.

The Clippers finished the regular season with the league’s most efficient offense — that’s right, it was even better than that of the Golden State Warriors. And, they did it with little to no help from the reserve unit, which featured only Jamal Crawford as a reliable option to contribute in heavy minutes off the bench.

Paul is as fiery a competitor as they come, so it’s only natural that his personality would be grating to teammates over time — much in the same way that Kobe Bryant’s non-stop, demanding and ultra-competitive nature can get old with those who are even slightly less committed.

But that’s a far cry from irreconcilable differences, which is the point Rivers was likely trying to make, here, while largely dancing around the specific issue.

Report: Potential No. 1 overall draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns won’t work out for any NBA teams

Karl Anthony-Towns

In advance of the June 25 NBA Draft, it’s common practice for prospects to go through a series of workouts with various teams that have the potential to select them.

But that’s not always true for guys slotted into one of the top two picks.

Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor are widely expected to go one and two (in some order) in this summer’s draft. While the Timberwolves will have the ultimate say (and they reportedly like Okafor), even if Towns doesn’t go No. 1 overall, it’s highly unlikely that he slides past the Lakers at two.

Perhaps because of this, Towns reportedly won’t be working out for any NBA teams.

From Adam Zagoria of

Projected No. 1 draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns will interview with the top two teams in the NBA Draft lottery — the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers — but won’t workout for any teams, sources told …

Towns is working out in Los Angeles with former UCLA star Don MacLean, who raved to about Towns’ potential and work ethic.

“I’ve been doing this for 11 or 12 years pre-draft,” MacLean, the leading scorer in Pac-12 and UCLA history, previously told “Because I had a lot of top 10 picks and a lot of really good players, I’m not really impressed or blown away. I had Towns all last week and I was blown away. Blown away.”

The interview is more important anyway at this point, because there is plenty of film on guys showing how they perform in live-game situations. Things like desire, work ethic, intelligence and attention to detail are what teams want to measure in person, and those qualities go well beyond a potential draftee’s physical capabilities.