On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Lakers announced that Steve Nash had been waived and rookie Jabari Brown had earned a multiple year contract. The Lakers had been granted a temporary roster spot due to excessive injuries, but after two 10-day contracts, the Lakers needed to waive a player in order to sign the rookie on a permanent basis. Each player is only allowed a maximum of two 10-day contracts per NBA rules.
With Nash officially announcing his retirement about a week earlier, waiving the future Hall-of-Fame point guard should have been a simple decision that did not raise too many eyebrows. With Brown's signing, however, Nash is officially no longer a member of the LA Lakers.
Although the team announced that Brown received a multi-year deal, terms of the deal were not immediately made available. Brown played 10 games for the Lakers and averaged 9.4 points, 1.7 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. Shooting 50 percent from the field and 45.8 percent from beyond the three-point line certainly helped the 22-year-old's case.
With only nine games remaining in the season, Brown should earn an opportunity to prove his worth further, especially coming off a 22-point performance in Philadelphia.
Next up for Brown and the Lakers are the New Orleans Pelicans, who come to Staples Center on Wednesday night. Lakers coach Byron Scott announced that Jeremy Lin will return to the starting lineup after missing two games with an upper respiratory infection. The Lakers will return to the same starting five that started their recent road trip: Jordan Clarkson, Lin, Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly and Tarik Black.
However, Scott remained coy on which big men he would play and which he would sit. Carlos Boozer has not featured for five games, Ed Davis has missed two in a row and Jordan Hill has played only two of the past five contests. The musical chairs of Lakers' big men is due to the team providing extra opportunities for Black at center and Kelly at power forward.
The Pelicans have beaten the Lakers three times this season, and Wednesday could end in a clean sweep. Anthony Davis continues to fill up the box score and widen the eyes. He has the Pelicans coming into Staples Center on a two-game winning streak, but New Orleans is still 2.5 games back of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Tip-off at Staples Center is 7:30 p.m. Pacific time. Follow @TripleThreat for in-game updates.