The Lakers will be giving the ball to their new point guard, No. 2 pick D’Angelo Russell, and letting the rookie learn on the job this year. They are high on his potential.
Backing him up there is some real talent — the Lakers already have Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson on the roster who can handle the ball. Oh, and that Kobe Bryant guy likely will want the ball in his hands a little.
Now add to the mix a very good international point guard in Marcelo Huertas, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
Free-agent guard Marcelo Huertas – one of the Euroleague’s most accomplished playmakers – has agreed to a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Huertas, 32, could give the Lakers an experienced pick-and-roll point guard to complement the development of No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell.
If you’ve watched any of Huertas guiding Barcelona to the highest levels in Europe — three straight EuroLeague Final Fours during his six years there — you know the man is a playmaker. Specifically, he is a very strong pick-and-roll guard with fantastic court vision. Synergy Sports has the numbers to back that up:
Where you probably have seen more of Huertas is leading Brazil against the USA at the Olympics and other international competitions. Coach K uses a high-pressure defensive system, wisely trying to take advantage of the USA’s overwhelming athletic advantage over the rest of the world, but Huertas handled that pretty well and gave the USA some trouble (relatively).
Bottom line, he can come in off the bench in the NBA and run a team very well. Those guys have real value in the NBA.
This is a fantastic pickup for the Lakers. If Byron Scott uses him right. The Lakers have a nice backcourt to support Russell, and the team will be competitive this season with all its additions. That’s a step in the right direction.
The Philippines claimed Jordan Clarkson as a natural-born player and put him on its 24-man preliminary roster for the FIBA Asia championship.
But the Lakers guard apparently won’t play for the nation this summer.
The Philippine Star:
In an email to US-based Philstar.com contributor Homer Sayson, Mike Clarkson, Jordan’s father, cited timing as a factor in his son’s decision to pass on the chance to don the country’s colors, emphasizing Jordan’s current commitment with the Lakers in the NBA.
Jordan is in town and has started working out with the nationals
It’d be pretty disappointing for Filipino basketball fans if Clarkson made it all the way there and didn’t play. The nation has an underrated basketball fan base, and Clarkson – who was born in Florida to a Filipino mother – could have served as a “homegrown” star. Andray Blatche, whose citizenship was bought, doesn’t quite cut it in that regard.
Still, with Blatche, the Philippines can compete. The FIBA Asia champion qualifies for the Rio Olympics, and the next three teams reach the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
If the Philippines advances without him, maybe Clarkson joins the team in 2016.
Lakers wing Nick Young, who’s engaged to Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, tweeted he wanted to play for the Australian national basketball team:
It seemed like the typical Young empty attention grab.
Basketball Australia joined in the fun.
So did Australian Andrew Bogut:
End of the joke, right?
we spoke with a top official for Basketball Australia who tells us, “Nick’s representatives have been in contact with an ‘official inquiry.'”
The official told us Nick would have to become an Australian citizen to be eligible for the team — and the process was thoroughly explained to Young’s camp.
For the record, it’s not an easy process — according to the official, Young would have to start by living in Australia for “an extended period of time.”
I doubt Young follows through. Then again, I didn’t expect anyone in his camp would go even this far with it.
Australia qualified for the 2016 Olympics, and Young could help the country make a little more noise in Rio.
Maybe he’d even impress Azalea, who’s down on his basketball skills.
The Jazz drafted Olivier Hanlan No. 42, but they didn’t have a roster spot for him this season. So, the former Boston College guard signed in Lithuania.
Team Canada apparently didn’t have room for him, either.
Canada announced its roster for FIBA Americas, and Hanlan was the final cut.
It’s remarkable that Canada can afford to drop a player drafted to the NBA, but the country’s basketball team has come a long way in a short time. The Canadians will have nine NBA players:
- Andrew Wiggins
- Cory Joseph
- Kelly Olynyk
- Anthony Bennett
- Nik Stauskas
- Robert Sacre
- Andrew Nicholson
- Dwight Powell
- Melvin Ejim
Aaron Doornekamp, Phil Scrubb and Brady Heslip round out the 12-man roster.
The top two teams in FIBA Americas – besides Brazil, which got an automatic bid as host nation – will qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The next three teams, again excluding Brazil, advance to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Canada is definitely a threat this year and next. With such a young team, its future might be even brighter.
Maybe with a little seasoning, Hanlan will eventually make the squad.
Then again, he’ll also have to fend off the next generation of Canadian basketballers, players like Trey Lyles and Jamal Murray.
A few years ago, it would have seemed incomprehensible Canada could afford to cut a player drafted by an NBA team.
Soon, Canada might form its roster completely from NBA players.
Eric Moreland played all of two minutes total across three games for the Kings’ last season before suffering a labral tear in his shoulder that ended his season (he did get paid his full $507,336 salary because of that, though). Then this summer, with a pretty full roster, the Kings waived the undrafted 6’10” forward rather than guarantee his deal.
So where does he land now? Maybe Detroit, reports Shams Charania of RealGM.
Free agent Eric Moreland has multiple deals to compete for a roster spot in NBA training camp, with the Detroit Pistons as frontrunners, league sources told RealGM. The Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings are strong under consideration for Moreland, sources said, and their front offices expect the 6-foot-10 forward to settle upon a destination once the final offers are presented.
This would be a camp invite, make-good contract with maybe a little guarantee. Could he make the roster in any of those places? That’s an uphill climb.
Detroit has 17 guaranteed contracts and already is going to have to cut a couple of them. They also have a front line with Ersan Ilyasova and Anthony Tolliver at the four, then three centers in Andre Drummond, Aron Baynes, and Joel Anthony. Not sure where Moreland fits in there.
The Lakers have 12 guaranteed deals but a pretty stacked frontcourt, Mooreland would need to beat out someone like Tarik Black (whom the Lakers like). The Kings have 14 guaranteed contracts and already waived him this summer so he wouldn’t be a guaranteed deal on their books, plus they have Willie Cauley-Stein in his young, shot blocker role.
Mooreland likely chooses whoever gives him the biggest guarantee. It’s about the money.