LeBron James

NBA rumors: Lakers to work out ex-Warrior Mo Speights, Dwight Howard

NBA rumors: Lakers to work out ex-Warrior Mo Speights, Dwight Howard

The NBA offseason really never sleeps.

Following DeMarcus Cousins' torn ACL, the Lakers now are in search of another big man as the new season approaches.

The Lakers currently have Anthony Davis and JaVale McGee on the roster, but Rob Pelinka, Frank Vogel and Co. reportedly will work out former Warrior Marreese Speights, Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah this week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday. Marcin Gortat reportedly also is under consideration.

Not a lot of enticing options in that bunch.

Speights, who last played in the NBA in 2018, played for the Guangzhou Loong Lions in China last year. During the 2017-18 NBA season -- his last in the league -- Speights averaged 7.7 points per game on 36.9 percent shooting for the Orlando Magic.

Howard currently is under contract with the Grizzles, but they would be more than happy to buy him out should the Lakers be interested in a reunion. The 33-year-old played in just nine games last season for the Washington Wizards due to a gluteal injury. In his last healthy season, Howard averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds for the Charlotte Hornets during the 2017-18 campaign. 

Noah, a known LeBron James antagonist, had his moments last year for the Grizzlies, averaging 7.1 points in 42 games for Memphis.

Of course, none of these options will fill the void left by Cousins' devastating injury. All three are nothing more than end of the bench role players and likely only would play a small role in the Lakers' quest to unseat the Warriors from atop the Western Conference.

[RELATED: Steph gets no love from NBA rookie class]

With their big depth now a question mark, Vogel and the Lakers might have to talk Davis into playing center (something he doesn't want to do) and have James play the four. This, coincidentally, likely is their best lineup construction, with Kyle Kuzma at the three, Danny Green at the two and (insert someone here) at point guard. 

It's unclear if Speights still has the bucket-getting ability he had during his run with the Warriors. If he does then he might be the Lakers' best option. During his three seasons in the Bay, Speights was a solid bench scorer who became a fan favorite. He averaged 10.4 points per game on 49.2 percent shooting while playing a vital role in helping the Dubs capture the 2015 NBA title, the first of their dynastic run.

And who could forget Mo Buckets dropping 32 points on the 76ers in 2014 and being serenaded with "MVP" chants from the Oracle Arena crowd? A true Warriors legend.

Of course, a reunion with a now "humbled" Howard would be great for the possible, albeit unlikely redemption story. 

These five low-key NBA records never will be broken with new-age thinking

These five low-key NBA records never will be broken with new-age thinking

Dozens of NBA records are destined to live forever, and it seems most of them are owned by Wilt Chamberlain. He posted such insane single-season averages as 50.4 points and 48.5 minutes. He scored 100 points in a game and was greedy enough to retire with 23,924 rebounds -- almost 11,000 more than Shaquille O’Neal.

Many of the records not held by Chamberlain belong to Bill Russell, who once snagged 32 rebounds in a half, led the Boston Celtics to eight consecutive championships and own 11 rings.

For that reason, we’re excusing Wilt and Bill from the room as our, um, committee pursues the goal of identifying the five safest NBA records that rarely get discussed.

The countdown from No. 5 to No. 1 begins with the most “vulnerable” record and ends with the mark that can sit comfortably among the totals in what we call the Chamberlain/Russell tier:

5. Minutes in a regular-season game

Record: 69 by Dale Ellis on Nov. 9, 1989

OK, the game’s 73 minutes and five overtimes make it the longest in the shot-clock era. And, OK, Ellis’ Seattle SuperSonics were defeated 155-154 by the Milwaukee Bucks.

But 69 minutes is 69 freaking minutes. Ellis scored a game-high 53 points on 18-of-39 shooting, including 3-of-7 from deep. His teammate, Xavier McDaniel, logged 68 minutes.

Only two players have labored beyond the 60-minute mark in a 21st century game: Vince Carter with 63 and Jalen Rose with 61, both in 2000-01. In the era of high-tech monitoring of physical exertion, no coach will allow a player to approach 70 minutes in a regular-season game.

4. Career playoff minutes

Record: 10,049 by LeBron James

This is testimony to James’ ability to find another level in the playoffs. And he’s still active.

That LeBron’s Lakers didn’t make the 2019 playoffs was of no consequence because he zoomed past Tim Duncan (9,370) and into the top spot the previous year. To put this into perspective, he has played more minutes than Patrick Ewing (5,207) and Pau Gasol (4,825) combined.

To surpass James, someone would have to average about 40 minutes per game over more than 250 games -- and that’s only if LeBron never makes another postseason appearance. Only retirees Derek Fisher (259) and Tim Duncan (251) have exceeded 250 postseason games.

For the record, Kevin Durant (5,598) is No. 2 among active players.

3. Career assists

Record: 15,806 by John Stockton

Stockton’s record speaks mostly to his pass-first mentality and his practically perfect synchronicity with longtime teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Karl Malone. The Stockton-Malone pick-and-roll was, for much of their long careers, the league’s deadliest two-man game.

Jason Kidd also had a pass-first mentality and also played forever, and still retired in second place, 3,715 dimes behind Stockton.

Only two active players are more than halfway to Stockton. Chris Paul has 9,161 and LeBron has 8,662. Both are in the all-time top 10. Both would have to average more than 10 assists per game, over 80 games, for the next eight seasons.

Let’s see if CP3 and Bron are still going at age 42.

2. Consecutive games

Record: 1,192 by A.C. Green

Green, a power forward that played most of his career as a Laker, was known for two things. One, he was a virgin among teammates with libertine impulses. Two, from Nov. 19, 1986 until April 17, 2001 he played every single game.

With training staffs often advising coaches to give players rest, it’s notable when someone suits up for all 82 games. Green played every game for 14 seasons in a row. He actually played 83 games in 1996-97 -- 27 for Phoenix and 56 for the Mavericks after the Suns traded him to Dallas.

The longest active streak is 304 games, held by Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles.

With teams looking ahead to the playoffs, there is more dedication to managing regular-season minutes. It’s a different mindset than it was during Green’s career.

There may be a better chance of a player remaining a virgin throughout a long career than playing 1,192 consecutive games.

1. Technical fouls in a season 

Record: 41 by Rasheed Wallace in 2000-01

The most unbreakable record of all, held by the man synonymous with technical fouls.

Wallace was whistled for 38 techs the year before setting the record and 27 more the year after. When Sheed bumped it up to 29 in 2004-05, the NBA tossed him to its rules committee and urged it to do something. Anything.

[RELATED: Report: Ex-Warriors, Kings center Cousins injures knee]

The committee instituted another “Sheed Rule.” Going into effect in 2006-07, penalizes players that exceed 15 techs in a season, which Wallace did 10 times in a career during which he totaled 317 techs. No. 16 comes with a one-game suspension and a $5,000 fine. Every tech after that results in a $5,000 fine, and every two warrants another fine and suspension.

There is a reason why no player has since exceeded 19 techs in a season. Perhaps because they realize getting to 41 would require an extra checkbook, a mental health evaluation and a lot of cold stares from teammates.

LeBron James Jr. name-drops Steph Curry, not his dad, after wild shot

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USATSI

LeBron James Jr. name-drops Steph Curry, not his dad, after wild shot

This could make the next "Taco Tuesday" awkward. 

Does LeBron James Jr., son of Los Angeles Lakers superstar/Warriors nemesis LeBron James and a top high-school prospect in his own right, think #StephBetter? The 14-year-old nailed a shot sitting on a courtside bench, and he shouted out Steph Curry when he did. 

You can't blame the kid.

For one, Curry likely will end his career as the greatest 3-point shooter of all-time. He sits fifth all-time in career 3-point percentage (43.6 percent; minimum 250 attempts), and he probably is going to shatter the NBA record for 3-point makes and attempts when all is said and done. As the face of the NBA's 3-point revolution, he's the guy you name-drop if you drain a ridiculous outside shot. 

[RELATED: Bad news for Boogie: Ex-Warrior, King reportedly tears ACL]

For another, even if LeBron was as good of a 3-point shooter as Steph: What 14-year-old on the planet wants to shout out their dad? Let alone a dad you are named after, and one who many think of as the greatest player to ever play the sport? It's clear the younger James only had one course of action. He still is a teenager -- albeit one who has cameras following him before he has played a game in high school. 

Now, if the younger James wears a Curry No. 30 jersey when the Lakers host the Warriors in LA on Nov. 13? That's much dicier.