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Report: Lakers plan to bring Nash, Marshall back; D’Antoni decision comes after season

Mar 31, 2014, 2:42 PM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

The Lakers are going to make changes this summer.

Maybe not the kind Kobe Bryant is hoping for — it’s a thin free agent market and Minnesota is not yet willing to trade Kevin Love — but there will be roster changes.

However, two guys will be back — Steve Nash and Kendall Marshallaccording to Mike Bresnahan at the Los Angeles Times.

As for Mike D’Antoni, that’s going to be wait-and-see, according to the report.

So the team will decide fairly quickly after the April 16 regular-season finale — pay him to not coach the team, just like Mike Brown, or try to make it work next season….

For financial reasons, the Lakers currently plan to keep (Nash) next season, The Times has learned, eating the remainder of his contract ($9.7 million) in one swoop instead of waiving him and spreading the money out over three years…

They also plan to keep Marshall, the 13th selection in the 2012 draft, whom they signed as a free agent a little more than three months ago. He averages 8.9 assists, but his shooting accuracy has dropped every month: 57.1% in four December games, 43.5% in January, 39.8% in February and 33.7% in March.

The Nash and Marshall decisions make sense. In the case of Nash better to bite the bullet on his big salary in a season where the Lakers are not going to be contenders if even a playoff team. Plus, if a team is looking to trade a star player his salary can help make a deal possible.

In the case of Marshall, he is reverting to the form that saw him jettisoned from other teams — his shooting is down and he doesn’t defend well — but at a minimum salary they can see if he can regain form and capture that lightning in a bottle.

D’Antoni is another matter. The Lakers would have to pay him $4 million to go away and they start to look like a team that jettison’s coaches without a master plan. (Actually, that’s what they look like already.) There is something to be said for letting him coach out his contract and make a change in 2015, especially if next season the Lakers are not going to have a lot of talent on the roster.

Problem is, Kobe Bryant is a terrible fit for D’Antoni’s system and doesn’t want to play in it, according to multiple reports. At his age Kobe is more of a post and elbow player in half court sets, after all the miles on his legs and recent injuries he is not built for up-tempo basketball.

That is likely what dos D’Antoni in — for the next couple years the Lakers will sell Kobe to fans and sponsors as they retool the roster. They need him to be happy and engaged, so they will go get a coach that he approves of.

Then we’ll see how long that coach lasts.

  1. miamiheatles - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Lakers gotta keep Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry, and Nick Young as well. Love Kendall Marshall.

    • spursareold - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:50 PM

      Kelly is like a homeless man’s Bonner. Wait until this summer and sign the real thing. I don’t see them keeping both X and Young. That’s two SGs who will struggle for minutes behind Kobe.

      There’s a reason this team is bad. It’s not the coaching staff, although that doesn’t help, and it’s not bad luck. It’s bad players, and the sooner you purge the roster of them, the better.

    • orlandochamps - Mar 31, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      Westly Johnson as well.

    • nolanwiffle - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:20 PM

      Kendall Marshall is not an NBA-caliber point guard.

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:01 AM


      • ranfan12 - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:08 AM

        Well he doesn’t seem to be too far apart from rubio. They are like traditional point guards who focus more on feeding than scoring. He’s been running fast breaks pretty good for the most part this season and pushes the ball up the floor pretty well. He’s alright but wouldn’t be quick to call him non-nba caliber yet

  2. ocgunslinger - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Let’s trade them all for Bynum and 4 used basketballs.

  3. 1harrypairatesties - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    $teve Na$h ? We all know why he’$ playing next year & it’$ not for the love of the game.

    • bkbell3 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Yea,like you,me or anybody else would walk away from 10mil. to play a game we love.smh

    • AZ Dem - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:28 PM

      Idiot. If all he wanted was the money, he’s got enough injuries to stay on the DL all season. No, he’s been working out, training like he has never before. He want’s to play.

      • dpmac1571 - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:44 AM

        he is playing for the numbers (assists)
        he wants to be immortal (hall of fame)
        who would you take 24 year old (no defense) james harden right now
        or 2 time MVP (no defense) steve during his best year?

    • henryd3rd - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:18 AM

      Please tell me! Did someone place a gun to the head of “Little Jimmie” and make him sign Nash? If I’m Nash I stay and play out my contract and take the money as well. No one walks away from that kind of money! No one!

  4. aboogy123456 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    With Kobe getting up there in age, and Love likely to be on the lakers in a year, I think the two most important signings are wes johnson and Hill. Hill is a good defensive anchor and would complement Love well, and Johnson can guard the best wing on the other team, so kobe can focus on offense.

    • bucrightoff - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:31 PM

      Kevin Love isn’t going to the Lakers. He’s going to replace Tim Duncan in San Antonio. Remember Texas = income tax free. California = brutal income taxes. That’s why Dwight Howard left the Lakers and made the same amount on money in Houston for a 1-year shorter contract, Get used to losing FAs to Texas and Florida.

      • smoothaswilkes - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Wow, how delusional can you be? Dwight Howard didn’t resign with Houston for taxes. Taxes? Let’s list all those free agents that have signed recently in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Miami, and Orlando for TAX PURPOSES…

        Hmm, I can’t seem to find one. And I think the narrative you’re trying to create is bogus but it may play a tiny part in the decision making process.

        Here’s a good link for you:

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:44 PM

        regardless of whether or not kevin love comes, I still want those guys back. And most fans on this site overlook that some guys want to be stars both on and off the court. I think Kevin love is one of those guys. It’s not crazy, I know I would want to be in a big market if i played.

      • spursareold - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        Who was the last major FA to sign with the Lakers?

        Shaq, in 1996.

      • bucrightoff - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        The Lakers last major free agent signing was 20 years ago. So lol at that fact. And those happened in a cap free era. Now the luxury tax is so punitive and vicious, the Lakers cannot afford to pay guys whatever they want, unless they want a $200 million payroll bill that escalates annually.

        Taxes do matter. A lot. You think a few million is nothing to these guys? Who spend lavishly and often end up broke? Here’s the thing: The Lakers have to offer $15 million a year, while for the Spurs, Mavs, Rockets, Magic and Heat, they only have to offer $13 million a year and it works out exactly the same. So sorry, it does matter and you better get used to seeing guys not signing in LA, or more to the point, you’ll have to overpay guys to sign in LA, with a brutal luxury tax. Laker fans, get used to looking up at the Clippers and Warriors. May be doing it for many years to come.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:02 PM

        @buc, if your argument is about money, then why do you only bring up taxes? How about endorsements? If you were a player, you wouldn’t like the opportunity to be a star in the biggest market and see yourself on TV a lot? I feel like you’re not putting yourself in the player’s shoes.

      • smoothaswilkes - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        you are making my argument for me…

        first, you say that state taxes matter for free agents signings and the the Lakers should get used to losing FA’s to TX and FL. The numbers say that it doesn’t, but you probably didn’t even read the linked article.

        After that your response to me (and @spursareold too) was Shaq? What? That was almost 20 years ago, and taxes didn’t matter then. But, again, you missed my question, which was for you to name all those FA’s the Lakers, or any team, has lost to TX and FL team because of TAXES. Reading comprehension – try it out some times.

        So to recap, state taxes don’t really factor in to players signing large contracts, the Lakers haven’t lost a FA because of the “brutal income taxes” in California, and you can’t name one players that has signed outside of CA because of taxes.

        But by all means, if you say something enough it must be true. Keep saying it, I guess, because you have stated one fact to this point.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        shaq was only 20 years ago. it’s not that long ago, and he signed for many of the same reasons that future players will sign in LA. How about Kobe Bryant? He spent his whole career in LA, despite the higher taxes..

      • heat256 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        @ aboogy. The endorsement/market argument really doesn’t matter anymore. It did 20 years ago. Case in point: Kevin Durant. OKC is no large-market by any means, but he is getting plenty of exposure and endorsement opportunities. Nowadays the players who win may see their endorsements rise. That doesn’t negate LA’s attraction as a free agent destination, but it may not be the mortal lock it once was, especially if the team isn’t winning.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:51 PM

        Durant gets $14 million in endorsements, what if he was able to get $20 million? It’s not a question of whether or not he’s getting plenty or not as you say, you don’t make decisions like that. Maybe Kevin love is making “plenty” with his salary, then why should he care about taxes? Derrick rose made $21 million in endorsements despite not playing. Two of the top ten, Melo and Amare, play for a team that hasn’t been to the finals recently.

      • casualcommenter - Mar 31, 2014 at 6:04 PM

        “He’s going to replace Tim Duncan in San Antonio.”

        Yes. Because the Spurs are well-known for making max offers to sign free agents from other teams, right?

        You cite the fact that the Lakers haven’t attracted an outside free agent to sign since Shaq, but you neglect to mention that the Spurs have NEVER signed a max-contract earning superstar.

        So if history is any guide, the Lakers’ chances of attracting an outside star free agent are much better than the Spurs’, who are known for usually making mid-tier value signings and usually developing their own players.

      • casualcommenter - Mar 31, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        Typo: Spurs have NEVER signed a max-contract earning superstar *in free agency from another team.

      • asimonetti88 - Mar 31, 2014 at 6:45 PM

        The Lakers have signed plenty of big free agents in recent years. Whether or not they worked out is a different discussion, but they’ve signed quite a few.

        Steve Nash – 2012
        Metta World Peace – 2009
        Karl Malone – 2003
        Gary Payton – 2003

      • AZ Dem - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:36 PM

        Stop watching Fox News. It makes you stupid. You pay taxes where you play. Meaning that when Houston plays the Clippers, Lakers, Warriors, or Kings in CA, they pay CA state income tax. And when you’re a basketball player, it’s really easy to write them off. NO player takes local taxes into consideration during the free agency process. That’s laughable.

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:16 AM

        EXACTLY spursareold!


        And that’s to all of ya!

    • smoothaswilkes - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      no. no. and one more, no. Hill is an energy guy off the bench that can rebound, and he’s definitely not a “good defensive anchor”, and he definitely won’t be back next season. He can probably get more money on the open market.

      you think Johnson can guard the best wing on the opposing team? I have a feeling you don’t understand how defense works, what with your comments about defense.

      Neither of those guys are anymore than bench fodder. Don’t count on either to be foundation players for a championship team.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Bench players and role players are still important. I’m not saying that Wes Johnson is a star but he has the potential to be an elite wing defender, and he’s played well this year. He’s cheap, I want him back.

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        also, watch Hill play more, he’s a great role player and an above average center. For what he will get paid, I think the lakers would be dumb not to re-sign him. He’s a great defender and rebounder, and that’s what I would want in a center for LA.

      • smoothaswilkes - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        the lakers won’t be able to afford hill next season, MDA is not a fan of playing him – not that that is a relfection of hill’s abilities, and you speak like he’s a valuable starting center. he’s not. $3 mil per season to come off the bench – sounds about right. he’ll get more from another team.

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:03 AM

      No. THE biggest signing will be Hill. And he can be had for MAD cheap.

  5. indyzown - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Let the tanking begin for the 2015-16 season now… opt out jelly bean !!!

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:07 AM

      Indy still has a half-decent team. Why would you consider tanking? You guys can build on your 1st round exit this year. I wouldn’t give up on that!

  6. haaaaasoooooo - Mar 31, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    @bkbell-never was a truer statement typed!

  7. sportsfan18 - Mar 31, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    So many are beginning to see that the Lakers really are a mess…

    So many of their fans on sites like these said wait until the summer of 2014, we’ll reload, we’ll have money etc…

    Well, like this articles and others mention, they will not be good next yr.

    Now Lakers fans are saying wait until 2015, we’ll be able to get such and such player(s)…

    In 2015, Kobe will be taking 40% of the salary cap himself (like this coming yr too) and he will be even older.

    The Lakers of 2015 will not realistically contend for a championship either. They’ll struggle to make the playoffs next yr and if they are lucky they might contend to make the playoffs in 2015.

    Then, Kobe may or may not retire…

    As other articles on this site and other websites say, there are not any game changers coming out of this draft that will lead a team in their first or second seasons… Maybe a few of them could be real difference makers by their 3rd or 4th seasons in the league.

    What this means is that whoever the Lakers select in the draft in May won’t be leading them to a title in 2014 or 2015 and neither will an older, many miles on his injured legs Kobe…

    Maybe you all can start talking about how the Lakers will be good again in 2016…

  8. kb2408 - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Mike D. is a dead man walkin…..Personally, I’d like to see Rambis get a shot.

    • bucrightoff - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      As someone who doesn’t like the Lakers, so would I. He’s not a very good coach (and the .279 career winning percentage pretty much sums it up)

      • AZ Dem - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:43 PM

        D’Antoni’s record (before this season) was 536. What are you talking about? He’s won the Pacific Division 3 times.

    • sportsfan18 - Mar 31, 2014 at 6:13 PM


      I hope to heck you’re right and they choose Rambis…

      Of course there is no way that is going to happen, but as one who doesn’t root for the Lakers I may always dream they hire him…

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 31, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      Laker Luver: good one! Yeah, right.

  9. hildezero - Mar 31, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    I think it’s time for Steve Nash to retire now.

  10. mogogo1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    I never liked the D’Antoni hire but that being said I don’t think anybody would have won with this group and all those injuries. Plenty of well deserved criticism about him not adapting and handling big men well, but bottom line is that while he didn’t adapt, the Lakers still hired a system guy and never really committed to the system. Outside of Nash (who age caught up to) hardly anybody else they had ever was a real D’Antoni sort of player.

  11. jimeejohnson - Mar 31, 2014 at 6:47 PM

    Ominus Prime: D’Antoni’s YOUR BUDDY!

  12. bklyn221 - Mar 31, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    coach DA is not coming back, GM KOBE does not want him as coach. simple as that.

  13. csbanter - Mar 31, 2014 at 7:21 PM

    Lakers should hire George Karl, he gives them instant credibility. Kobe in his final years will only respond to a proven coach. Then again the Rudy T experiment was a complete flop.

    • mogogo1 - Mar 31, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      Problem is that Karl’s style, at least in recent years, hasn’t been all that different from D’Antoni’s. Now, I think Karl is definitely a better coach than D’Antoni, so he could likely adapt, but what that roster needs is somebody who can excel at the half court game since Kobe is no longer capable of sprinting up and down the floor all game long.

  14. chrisco716 - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Marshall ought to go to a team like Indiana where Hibbert says “Some selfish dudes here.” Marshall is the selfish antidote.

  15. AZ Dem - Mar 31, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    I’ve seen recent video of Nash on You Tube, and he looks fantastic. Better than he has in years. Nash is ready to have a great season. But he really needs to run the D’Antoni offensive system. The D’Antoni system made Nash a MVP.

    We all know that Kobe’s gotta lot of miles on him. The D’Antoni system, run by Nash, would create so many open shots for Kobe. He would not have to work nearly so hard to get his shot.

    I’ve watched Nash closely for many years now, and when he went to LA, I predicted that Kobe could score 100. But LA took Nash out of his game. They wanted to make a spot up shooter out of him. Ugh.

    Give the dam ball to Nash. He’ll find the open man, and he’ll get the guy the ball.

    • dpmac1571 - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:00 AM

      “the d’antoni system made nash a MVP” no the media made nash an MVP
      yes give the dam ball to Nash and make Kobe (5 rings)a spot up shooter.
      dallas won more games the year after nash left (withn Jason terry)
      if you can’t play defense you can’t play……… watch james harden

  16. cuhris84 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:52 AM

    What the problem was with Mike Brown. He was never a good fit for a veteran team he had with the Lakers. He over coached veteran players, as to where players tuned him out. Plus, his offensive playbook is thin or the lack there of.

    Mike D’antoni, his problem, is that he’s stubborn. He thinks his run n’ gun style he had with Phoenix Suns will work, with last seasons Lakers and this season Lakers. Clearly if you have two dominant post players, you utilize them and maximize their skill set. You just can’t have a old players run, eventually it will catch up on them. D’antoni does not have the shooters required to play under his system.

    George Karl, Lionel Hollins, Jeff Van Gundy, Jerry Sloan those are the type of coaches that a team with Kobe Bryant, will work.

    Its going to be long summers with Lakerland. I hope this team regains their mojo.

  17. omniusprime - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    As long as Trash Nash is a Laker I won’t be a Laker fan! Jerky Boy Jimmy and Klueless Kupcake have made a pathetic decision to keep the overpaid garbage. If they keep Dumbtoni then they really ought to be committed to a mental institution for the sake of the franchise.

    Only a total moron would think keeping Trash Nash is a good idea. Kobe should realize that upper mismanagement has no intention of putting a championship caliber team around him to contend for a title. The only commitment Jerky Boy Jimmy and Klueless Kupcake have is their commitment to Mediocrity! They can market Kobe all they want, I’m not buying.

    Fire Trash Nash & Dumbtoni Now!

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