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February 25, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
Heading into a two-game stretch on consecutive nights on the road against the defense-minded Indiana Pacers (42-13) and Memphis Grizzlies (31-24), the Lakers (19-37) are more likely to fall to 39 losses before they hit 20 wins. The Lakers are now alone in last place in the Western Conference, one game behind  the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings, both 20-36. Though the season hasn't gone as planned for the Lakers, the franchise has significantly improved its chances in the May 20 NBA draft lottery .  The worse the Lakers do now, the better position (and player)
February 21, 2014 | By Sam Farmer
Who are the best quarterbacks in the 2014 draft class? Times NFL writer Sam Farmer got together with scouting expert Greg Cosell, who breaks down his top five, listed alphabetically: BLAKE BORTLES , Central Florida: He's big, he's physical, he gives you the option elements that a lot of teams look for in their run game because of his movement. He has a naturally strong arm, but he needs a lot of work on his lower-body mechanics to throw the ball that way all the time. There are many throws in which he doesn't drive the ball because his lower-body mechanics are a little bit off. That can be coached.
February 20, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan and Eric Pincus
Pau Gasol, the NBA's most-targeted subject of trade rumors, survived another deadline Thursday at noon, with the Lakers unable to move him and his $19.3-million salary. The Lakers made no deals at all Thursday, which brought to mind one obvious question. What's next for a team on pace for its worst season ever? The Lakers are headed for a lottery pick in the June draft, followed by free agency in July. They saved about $4 million in salary and luxury taxes by trading Steve Blake on Wednesday night for two seldom-used Golden State guards.
February 20, 2014 | By Sam Farmer
INDIANAPOLIS - Guard Jeff Baca, a sixth-round pick by Minnesota last season, is the only UCLA offensive lineman drafted since 2000. In that sense, former Bruins lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo could be a trendsetter. He's considered among the top interior linemen in this draft class and is a potential first-round pick. Su'a-Filo said Thursday that the lack of NFL linemen from the school during the past decade attracted him to UCLA. "That was one of the big reasons I went there," he said.
February 13, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers won't try to lose games to improve their draft position, General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday. "Winning is never a bad thing," he said. "If you try to manipulate the draft, I'm not a karma guy, but if you try to manipulate this thing, it never works out the way you think it's going to work out. "You're better off doing what you know is the right thing to do and whatever happens happened for the right reason. And that's our approach. " The Lakers (18-34) had the NBA's fifth-worst record before playing Oklahoma City on Thursday.
February 9, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
Three months before the NFL draft, star Missouri football player Michael Sam has publicly come out as gay, raising the possibility that the league may soon have its first openly gay player. In interviews published Sunday, Sam -- the 2013 SEC defensive player of the year -- said he came out to University of Missouri teammates last year and  decided to go public now so he could tell his story his own way. "I am an openly, proud, gay man," Sam, 24,  told ESPN , adding: "I understand how big this is. It's a big deal.
February 8, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan and Eric Pincus
This certainly wasn't part of the plan. Not that the Lakers officially had one - Tank Option A? Tank Option B? - but they were merrily drifting toward rebuild mode with a nice, comfy spot in the draft lottery thanks to all these injuries. That was so three games ago. They went out and beat Cleveland with only five players able to finish the game (barely) and won in Philadelphia thanks to Steve Nash's fountain-of-youth night. Now their schedule shows home games against Chicago (24-25)
February 6, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM -- Thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men protested across Israel on Thursday against the government's plans to draft them into the military. Carrying signs and chanting slogans pledging to resist enlistment, the demonstrators shut down major traffic arteries, set fire to garbage dumpsters and even a police vehicle, as police attempted to contain them with water cannons and mounted troops. More than a dozen demonstrators were arrested, according to media reports. The demonstrations followed a Supreme Court ruling this week banning government funding of several thousand students who have failed to comply with draft notices issued by the army.
February 5, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
The Lakers are a dismal 16-32 on the season, but General Manager Mitch Kupchak has a positive outlook on the team's situation. "Our future is a bright future. We're going to be just fine," said Kupchak on Wednesday to Jared Greenberg and Rick Fox on "SiriusXM NBA Radio. " "The franchise is going to attract players," he continued.  "Unfortunately, we're going to have a good draft pick this year.  We'll get a good player  there. " The projected draft pool could include Kansas players Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum (Australia)
February 3, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers took off Monday for a three-game trip and left behind the injured Pau Gasol. Will he still be there when they return? The Lakers and Phoenix Suns have engaged in trade talks for Gasol, though there is one main holdup to a deal being consummated. The Lakers want a better first-round pick than what the Suns currently offer. The Suns (29-18) are surprisingly good this season, making their draft pick correspondingly low (23rd overall). They own at least one other pick in the NBA draft in June, Indiana's first-round selection, currently 30th overall.
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