Lakers’ Byron Scott, Mitch Kupchak have meeting & near deal with Earl Clark

first_imgBut a league source stressed the deal, which is believed to be a one-year guaranteed contract worth around $1 million, has not been finalized. “You just try to find a guy who can best fit that situation and fill the biggest needs you might have,” Scott said. “When you get a guy this late, whether it’s a 10-day contract or the rest of the season, you don’t look at this guy and say he’ll play a lot of minutes. First, he has to get acclimated to what we’re doing on both ends of the floor.”It seems safe to presume Scott had such conversations with Kupchak, among other things. But Scott only disclosed that “we just had a meeting about the team in general,” something he said they will hold every 15-20 games this season. But the most pressing items entail how the Lakers will fill out their roster. The first step involves Clark, who has recently averaged 28.8 points for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the Development League. That could prompt the Lakers to waive Henry, who would still be owed a guaranteed $1.1 million. Almost a month into the 2014-15 NBA regular-season, the Lakers already have experienced unique circumstances.Lakers coach Byron Scott had what he called a “state of the union meeting” on Tuesday with general manager Mitch Kupchak, with plenty to discuss surrounding the team’s worst start in franchise history, a league-worst defense and an injury-depleted roster.The Lakers have suffered season-ending injuries to veteran guard Steve Nash (recurring back pain), rookie forward Julius Randle (broken right leg) and reserve swingman Xavier Henry (ruptured left Achilles). Meanwhile, recurring hamstring injuries will keep reserve forward Ryan Kelly for at least five weeks. All of which has prompted the Lakers to have “talks” to sign forward Earl Clark, according to a league source familiar with the discussions. Clark posted a picture of himself wearing a Lakers uniform on his Instagram. That evoked memories of his breakout campaign with the Lakers in the 2012-13 season, during which he averaged a career-high 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds after being acquired from Orlando as part of the Dwight Howard trade. Or the Lakers could wait until the NBA grants them a hardship exception. That tool gives teams the right to have 16 players on a roster when they field more than four players out with injuries. The Lakers could use that to add a player, though they would have to waive a player once Kelly returns to ensure a league-maximum 15-man roster.Only Wayne Ellington and Ronnie Price have nonguaranteed contracts, but their absences would deplete the team’s backcourt.But at this point, the Lakers need bodies. It became so bad that Scott said that Lakers assistants Mark Madsen and Larry Drew participated in Tuesday’s practice just to ensure a full-court scrimmage.How soon will the 53-year-old Scott suit up after winning three NBA championships with the Lakers during his 14-year NBA career?“We get two more guys hurt, I’m probably going to be out there,” Scott joked. “But we’re going halfcourt only. No fullcourt.” center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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