The trades at last week’s deadline have given the Lakers a renewed sense of optimism, wrote Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.
“League insiders and people within the organization have given good reviews for the moves made by general manager Rob Pelinka, who not only improved the roster in the short term, but did so without sacrificing the team’s future flexibility because of the favorable contracts he acquired (in particular the team options on nonguaranteed deals for guard Malik Beasley and center/forward Mo Bamba),” Woike wrote.
Along with upper management and coaching staff, the players on the team are feeling good about the recent moves, per Woike.
- Guard Patrick Beverley, among those traded (to the Magic, and since waived), indicated the Lakers’ struggles had little to do with on-court things. “It wasn’t basketball,” he said, via Peter Dewey of Lakers Daily. “It wasn’t basketball. It wasn’t basketball. It was other [expletive]. But other [expletive] that you really can’t like pin or point out. You know, comes and goes. You know, a little bit here, a little bit there.”
- The Mavericks looked into trades involving center Christian Wood and guard/forward Tim Hardaway Jr. at the deadline, per Tim Cato of The Athletic. But interest in both players was minimal, Cato added.
- With a continued reserve role and free agency looming, Wood seems likely to depart Dallas during the offseason, Cato suggested.
- In case you missed it, star guard Kyrie Irving said he does not intend to discuss his contract status with the media. You can check out that full post here.
Forward Draymond Green suggested the Warriors’ .500 record can be chalked up to not defending well enough.
“It’s now or never. We’re 500 at the break. Middle of the pack team with middle of the pack stats,” Green said, via Kendra Andrews of ESPN. “You’ve got to come out the break and win and do it at a high level or you go home … I wouldn’t be happy with that. But that will be the result if we don’t get there.”
As relayed by Anthony Slater of The Athletic, the defending champions have scored 6,878 total points on the season, surrendering 6,873. They are 14th in offensive rating and 15th in defensive ranking.
“I don’t think it’s a championship hangover,” Green said, via Madeline Kenney of Bay Area News Group. “It’s a will to want to defend. And you’re not hungover at .500, 60 games into the season. You’re a loser if you’re still hungover at that point.”