2017 NBA Draft: Lakers reportedly have not made guarantee to Lonzo Ball at No. 2

For months, Lonzo Ball has been the projected No. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and when the Los Angeles Lakers moved up to the No. 2 pick during the draft lottery, it seemed like fate — at least that’s what LaVar Ball would tell you. As the draft moves ever closer, however, what seemed like a sure thing has been thrown into doubt. The draft order was shaken up with the blockbuster trade between the Celtics and Sixers, and with the new Paul George news, there are a lot of things up in the air. Adding…

David Stern: Lakers could have traded for Chris Paul, but Mitch Kupchak panicked

David Stern was an extremely successful commissioner of the NBA. The mark he left helped set up the NBA for the massive levels of success it enjoys today, but there are a few blemishes on an otherwise perfect record. Pushing through the NBA dress code and allowing the SuperSonics to leave Seattle come to mind. However, none are as infamous as the Chris Paul trade veto. New Orleans was without an official owner when it came time to trade Paul. The NBA had purchased the franchise from owner George Shinn due to his financial troubles and this left…

Kevin Durant unlocks shooting touch in Warriors’ final playoff tuneup vs. Lakers

OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant found the last piece of the puzzle. After struggling with his shot in his first two games back with the Warriors, Durant rediscovered his 3-ball in a 109-94 victory against the Lakers on Wednesday night, which wrapped up a 67-15 regular season. Durant, who went a combined 0 for 9 from long range Saturday and Monday, lit up the Lakers for 24 points in the first half Wednesday night, shooting 9 for 12 overall, including 4 for 5 from deep. Kevin Durant told me the last thing he needed to get was the feel and touch… he’s 4-5 from three so far, first threes made since returning — Rosalyn Gold-Onwude (@ROSGO21) April 13, 2017 “First two games, I thought he was solid,” Steve Kerr said. “Tonight, he was spectacular with his …

Lakers first-month grades: Only one reason to temper enthusiasm

The Los Angeles Lakers are one of the happiest stories in basketball, even after two demoralizing defeats at the hands of the Golden State Warriors this past week. A month into the season, their young roster is 9-9 coming off a win over a solid Atlanta Hawks team Sunday night, and their offensive rating is top-10 in the league. Let’s put that in perspective: Los Angeles didn’t get its eighth win until Jan. 3 last year. Here’s an early report card: Developing the youngsters: A This is the most important part of coach Luke Walton’s job. D’Angelo Russell is 20, Julius Randle is 21, Brandon Ingram is 19, Jordan Clarkson is 24 and Larry Nance Jr. is 23. Together, they are the future of the Lakers organization, and they…

Steve Kerr’s reaction to Warriors blowout over Lakers is the reason he’s a great coach

Golden State beat the pants off the Lakers for a second-straight game, 109-85 Friday night at Staples Center. The Warriors have now won 10 in a row, and have the best record in the league for the first time this season after the Clippers’ loss to the Pistons Friday. The Warriors shot 52 percent from the field, and held the Lakers to 37-percent shooting. Golden State only lost the rebounding battle by one despite having so many fewer offensive rebound opportunities, won the turnover battle (narrowly), had more points in …

LOOK: Warriors embrace their ‘super-villain’ identity

When everyone says you’re the worst, you’ve got two options. You can balk at it, cry about it, beg for understanding, or you can embrace it. The Warriors have chosen to embrace their status as the NBA’s resident villains after adding Kevin Durant, and proved it on Friday by taking this picture with JaVale McGee’s drone camera and implanting “Super Villains” over it. It’s tough to maintain a good head space when you think everyone despises you, though. The Miami Heat really struggled with that…

Steph Curry’s incredible 157-game streak with at least one 3-pointer is over

One of the most incredible streaks in all of sports ended in a pitiful mess, as the greatest shooter sat on the bench with a towel draped over his head and fans chanted “We want tacos” relentlessly. There will be no joy in Dubville, mighty Curry’s shots have all clanged out. Stephen Curry’s streak of 157 games with at least one made-3-pointer ended Friday night at Staples Center as the Warriors, still high on their emotional beat-down of the Thunder the night before, were throttled by the Lakers 117-97. Curry finished 0-for-10 from 3-point range. The streak featured 769 made-3-…

Lottery winners (Lakers) and losers (Simmons)

The NBA Draft Lottery has gone chalk for the first time. Since the NBA started conducting draft lotteries, the order had not gone exactly as the records would indicate. It was bound to happen at some point, and that eventuality has become the 76ers gain, as the franchise from Philadelphia will get to make the No. 1 overall pick for the first time since 1996, when Allen Iverson became a superstar whose presence somewhat revolutionized the style of the league. Obviously, the Sixers are big winners. However, are they the biggest winners? Who are the biggest …

Rumor: Scott safe until Phil returns to Lakers?

The rumors about Phil Jackson possibly leaving the Knicks to return to the Los Angeles Lakers aren’t going away any time soon. With the Lakers pitiful once again, there’s talk of L.A. moving on from Byron Scott and even President of Basketball Operations Jim Buss. However, despite fans’ consternation with how Scott has handled the youngsters for L.A., Howard Beck of Bleacher Report tweeted a scenario that could keep Scott with the Lakers for an entire year. Theory floating around league: …