With the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated from NBA playoff contention, head coach Byron Scott has emphasized that the majority of what he’s focusing on at this point in the season is evaluating talent for the future. At practice on Wednesday afternoon, forward Ed Davis said he hopes to be a part of that future.
Obviously there’s going to be some new guys in here. Hopefully, I’m a part of the (Lakers) future. Hopefully around this time next year we’re in the playoffs, fighting for the top seed.”
Davis also stressed the value of team chemistry and experience in the NBA, and said the inability to close out games is largely due to not having that veteran “punch” at the end of games. Davis said he knows he still has room to grow, and plans to work on his offensive game, so he can play more of the five position and guard opposing centers.
Davis has a $1.1 million dollar player option on his current Lakers contract for next season, which he will likely exercise. Depending on what his value is in the free agent market this summer, it’ll be interesting to see what the Lakers are willing to offer him, knowing that maintaining financial flexibility is also of importance.
After two years of barely seeing the floor in Memphis, Davis has had quite a productive year in Los Angeles, averaging 12.5 points per game, on 60.7 percent shooting from the field, to go along with 11.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game.
The Lakers take on the Utah Jazz on Thursday night at Staples Center and Scott says he’ll be sticking with the same starting lineup of Jordan Clarkson, Wayne Ellington, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Hill and Tarik Black.
Nick Young is still listed as out for Thursday’s game and his return is uncertain. Young had a CT scan on his swollen knee on Monday, but there has been no update on the results. Young avoided all questions about his knee at practice, instead deferring to answering question about his new hairstyle.[divide]
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