The Lakers' eye toward clearing cap space and pursuing two superstar free agents next summer might be causing some frustration within the roster, and it could've played a role in the team's lackluster 95-92 loss at home to the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night at Staples Center. Head coach Luke Walton noted how the Lakers did not play with the same effort and fight they have brought much of this season, and how some players on the bench were "pouting." Veteran center Andrew Bogut says some players are clearly frustrated. "Pouting? Possibly. Guys are frustrated," Bogut said of the Lakers as Brandon Ingram sat out because of injuries to his quads. "There are some injuries right now, different rotations. Guys are frustrated, obviously. You would be lying to say that there are guys that are not frustrated on this team. "Everyone knows what is going on with the salary-cap situation next season and all that. That is just distractions that we can't let affect us. That is part of the league, the business decisions that front offices and coaches make. So if that is distracting guys, that is going to be like that your whole career. That is just the nature of this league." The Lakers are building around the two most recent No. 2 overall picks in the draft -- Ingram and Lonzo Ball -- and also have impressive rookie Kyle Kuzma. But to pursue potential free agents such as LeBron James and Paul George next summer, management will have to create cap space, and that could impact players such as Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, two vets who have been excellent for the Lakers this season off the bench.
Lakers' Andrew Bogut: We can't let 'business decisions' distract us
ESPN | Dec 24