The Los Angeles Lakers have certainly been entertaining on the court this season, led by young star D'Angelo Russell. But what are some of the biggest news stories surrounding the team off the court at the moment?
Let's break down some Lakers news.
Timofey Mozgov's Injury Status Unclear
Tania Ganguli of the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday that Timofey Mozgov's CT scan on his eye was inconclusive. The concern is that Mozgov suffered an orbital fracture when he was poked in the eye during Tuesday's game against the Indiana Pacers.
It was a rough night for Mozgov. He was also elbowed in the mouth and required four stitches.
But the eye is the major concern. He was poked hard enough that his vision was impaired, per Ganguli, and the swelling in that area of his face was severe. Serena Winters of LakersNation.com shared an image of Mozgov after the Pacers game:
Mozgov, 30, is averaging 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per game this season. He's been the starting center for the 2-3 Lakers, though Ivica Zubac and Tarik Black have also earned significant minutes at the position.
Losing Mozgov for an extended period wouldn't hurt the Lakers in the same way injuries to Russell, Jordan Clarkson or Julius Randle would affect the team. But he's still the team's top option at center, so the hope will remain that he didn't fracture his orbital.
Kent Bazemore Still Remembers Lakers Snub
Up-and-coming Atlanta Hawks forward Kent Bazemore might just hold a grudge.
Bazemore, 27, rejected a four-year, $72 million offer over the summer before re-signing with the Atlanta Hawks, per Mark Medina of the Orange County Register. And the reason—or one of the reasons—Bazemore didn't sign with L.A.?
Because the Lakers declined a $1.1 million qualifying offer for Bazemore in 2014 after he appeared in 23 games for the team in the 2013-14 campaign, averaging 13.1 points per contest.
"One thing you want in this league is to be wanted," he told Medina. "They didn't pick it up for that little amount of money. So that showed how much they believed in me and my abilities. That closed that chapter."
He added: "I still thank the organization for giving me a chance to go out and show I can play. There's no bad blood. But from the business side, they had their chance."
Certainly, the Lakers might lament not making that qualifying offer. Bazemore had a solid season for the Hawks last year, averaging 11.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 75 games, establishing himself as a fantastic defender. That led to a four-year, $70 million contract with the Hawks.
The Lakers have a nice collection of young talent and supplementary veterans. But for a team giving up 110.8 points per game this year, 25th in the NBA, Bazemore's defense would have been a plus.
Metta World Peace Wants to Coach Someday
The Lakers veteran forward told TMZ Sports he would love to be an NBA head coach someday.
"It's fun," World Peace said. "I think these coaches are having a great time, doing something they love to do, and I want to be in that same position someday."
"Fun" might not be the word most NBA head coaches would use. Rewarding, maybe. Challenging, surely. But the stress of managing a roster, drawing up plays in crunch time, recovering from losses and facing constant scrutiny from the front office, fanbase and even the players probably isn't too fun.
But if World Peace were to eventually become an NBA head coach, he would join a long list of former NBA players to make the transition. Notable head coaches who were former players include World Peace's head coach, Luke Walton, Cleveland's Tyronn Lue and Golden State's Steve Kerr, among others.
You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.