Russell Westbrook isn’t going to Milwaukee.
Charlie Westbrook, though?
Shams Charania of RealGM:
Westbrook went undrafted out of South Dakota in 2012 and has played overseas and in the D-League since.
He’ll give Milwaukee 17 players, but
just 14 15 of them have guaranteed salaries. So, Westbrook will join Jorge Gutierrez and Marcus Landry (both of whose contracts are fully unguaranteed) in competing to supplant a guaranteed player for a regular-season roster spot.
The Bucks already several players capable of playing Westbrook’s position, shooting guard: Khris Middleton, O.J. Mayo, Rashad Vaughn, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jerryd Bayless and even one of Michael Carter-Williams or Greivis Vasquez in bigger lineups. Without a clear need for him, Westbrook will really have to impress to stick past the preseason.
The Lakers signed Ryan Kelly, the team announced on Friday via official release.
Kelly was selected with the 48th overall pick in the second round of this summer’s draft, with the hope that the 6’11” forward out of Duke would be able to fill the ever-elusive stretch-four role that seems to thrive in the offensive system favored by Mike D’Antoni.
Kelly shot 42.2 percent from three-point distance in his senior season.
It’s late in the game for a team to be signing its draft picks, but with Kelly, there have been extenuating circumstances.
Kelly underwent multiple procedures this summer to deal with foot issues, and has been slow to recover. It kept him off of the team’s Summer League roster, where guys like Marcus Landry and Elias Harris were able to shine. And he’s still not expected to be ready by the time training camp opens on September 28.
The Lakers drafted Kelly for a reason, however, which explains his eventual signing. The team has apparently decided to wait for him to be healthy enough to show whether or not he can do what they envisioned, and considering his contract is for just one year and is non-guaranteed, he has some incentive to get back on the court and prove his worth as soon as possible.
We’ve known about Marcus Landry getting a training camp invite from the Lakers for quite some time, but the team made things official with an announcement on Monday.
Landry earned his spot with a stellar performance for the Lakers at the Las Vegas Summer League, where he averaged 15.2 points and 4.2 rebounds in 26.5 minutes per game in five appearances.
The Lakers currently have 11 players in place with guaranteed contracts for next season. In addition to Landry, the team has added Elias Harris, Xavier Henry, and Shawne Williams to its list of training camp invites who could potentially earn a roster spot for the coming season.
Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times reports that while Williams and Harris have a portion of their contracts ($100,000 each) guaranteed, Henry and Landry don’t have that luxury, and will need to land on the opening night roster in order to get paid on their current deals.
I love HBO’s “Hard Knocks” — the show that tracks an NFL team through training camp, this season the Cincinnati Bengals. There is great drama because there are few guaranteed contracts in the NFL and there are 75 guys fighting for 53 spots.
It would almost never work in the NBA because there just isn’t much camp drama — NBA contracts are guaranteed and you go into training camp pretty much knowing at least 14 of the 15 roster spots.
But the Lakers could be an exception this year — they are bringing in a few forwards for a little training camp competition to see who fits in Mike D’Antoni’s system best.
Thursday the Lakers announced a deal with Xavier Henry to what is a camp invite deal with a chance to make the team. Henry is a three year NBA player, a 6’6” swingman who was with the Hornets last season. He’s athletic but in the NBA he has struggled to create his own shot and tends to take long two pointers rather than threes (he averaged just 0.2 threes per game last season). His defense is uninspiring. There’s potential there but it has never really shown itself before, however he might be a good fit in the up-tempo D’Antoni system.
The Lakers just signed Shawne Williams and they have Elias Harris, Ryan Kelly and Marcus Landry all will kind of compete for forward spots in camp. For an NBA roster, this is a pretty wide open completion, which will make their camp a little more interesting.
Teams know what Louis Amundson is going to give them — real energy off the bench, rebounding, and almost no offense whatsoever. He was part of a good Suns bench back in 2010 but the past three seasons have seen him bounce around the league, struggle to get regular minutes, hand-in-hand with that his production has fallen.
Maybe a team looking for a veteran big will take a chance on him.
Maybe a team like the Lakers and Clippers, Amundson’s agent told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
Free agent forward Louis Amundson has sparked interest from several teams, including the Lakers and Clippers, according to his agent, Mark Bartlestein. Bartlestein said in an interview with the Los Angeles Newspaper Group that his client plans to finalize a deal with a team within the week, though he wouldn’t go into exact specifics what role and terms would best suit Amundson.
First the word of caution: A month ago we heard how Amundson was going to make his decision in a week. So don’t bet on this timeline.
Of these teams, the Lakers make a little more roster sense. The Clippers have 14 contracts on the roster and while they might use that 15th spot for a big it seems more likely they would like a guy they can develop. Yes, the Clippers have questions about depth up front (unless you are big believer in Byron Mullens and Ryan Hollins) but the fact is Amundson isn’t the answer.
The Lakers would have 14 guys only if the keep second round pick Ryan Kelly — but he may not be healthy by training camp — and Summer League team leading scorer Marcus Landry. But they might let one of those two walk to make space for a veteran who can provide some depth up front (they project to have Kelly, Elias Harris, Jordan Hill and Robert Sacre as bigs off the bench behind Pau Gasol and Chris Kaman, with Gasol playing plenty of five).