NBA: Magic 'confident' Lakers will add stars

Reuters

Posted at Feb 09 2018 10:50 AM

Photo from LA Lakers' Instagram account

Following a Thursday trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Lakers president Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka like their chances of bringing two superstars to Los Angeles over the next year or two.

"I wouldn't have made the move if I wasn't confident," Johnson told reporters hours after sending Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to Cleveland for Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye and a protected 2018 first-round draft pick. "Still the same (confidence). We have got to take the next step."

With Clarkson and Nance off the books and Thomas' and Frye's contracts set to expire after the season, the Lakers could have between $47 million and $70 million in cap space this summer, depending on what they do with Luol Deng and restricted free agent Julius Randle. Deng could be a candidate to be released via the "stretch provision," with the remaining money owed paid off over an extended period.

Pelinka expects the Lakers to be the NBA's most financially flexible team in free agency this summer, when LeBron James and Paul George, among others, might hit the market.

Nearly a week after news broke that he would join the Celtics, center Greg Monroe officially put pen to paper in Washington on Thursday, making him available for Boston's game against the Wizards.

Monroe was bought out by the Phoenix Suns last week and chose to sign with the Celtics over the New Orleans Pelicans, who reportedly offered Monroe the starting center spot in place of the injured DeMarcus Cousins, but could pay only $2.2 million. Monroe will make $5 million in Boston, but his path to playing time will be harder to navigate.

The 27-year-old averaged 10.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in 25 games with the Suns and Milwaukee Bucks this season. He was dealt to Phoenix in November in the Eric Bledsoe trade.

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker will replace injured New York Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis on Team LeBron in the All-Star Game later this month, the NBA announced.

Porzingis torn his left anterior cruciate ligament Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks after landing awkwardly following a dunk. The 22-year-old was voted by the coaches to his first All-Star team last month.

Walker, 27, will make his second consecutive All-Star appearance after reaching the stage for the first time last season. He is averaging 22.6 points, 5.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Hornets this season.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green expects to be in the lineup on Thursday despite being fitted for orthodontic braces after taking an elbow to the face in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.

Green said he expects to have braces for at least two weeks, the result of a well-placed elbow from Thunder forward Jerami Grant.

"My tooth got knocked back -- my big tooth, my front tooth, " Green said. "It is what it is."

Green was fined $50,000 for "directing inappropriate and offensive language toward a game official," the league announced.

Green was ejected from Tuesday's game against Oklahoma City after collecting two technical fouls, giving him a league-high 13 this season. He has also been ejected three times, one fewer than teammate Kevin Durant, who leads the NBA in that category.

Green's first technical against the Thunder came late in the second quarter for arguing over a non-call. The second occurred with 8:13 left in the game. Green was whistled for an offensive foul, and he subsequently softly tossed the ball in the direction of the ref who made the call. Another ref called the technical.

Kevin Durant will be available for the Warriors' game against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday after initially being listed as questionable with a hand injury, according to multiple reports.

The Warriors did not share details of Durant's injury, and it was unclear when or how the issue arose. Durant led the team with 33 points in the loss to the Thunder on Tuesday.

Golden State's Green (mouth), David West (calf) and Shaun Livingston (elbow) were listed as probable.