first_img “I think he’s a really big key to our success,” Dunleavy said. “I’d be willing to say that if he has a great year, we’d definitely make the playoffs.” Wilcox fell far short of his own expectations last season. Although he was the eighth overall draft pick in 2002 and showed improvements in his first two seasons, his playing time diminished last season, and he fell out of the team’s rotation. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Dunleavy has never questioned Wilcox’s athleticism, but the coach has had problems with his rebounding and defending or lack thereof. So for Wilcox to stay in the rotation and earn more playing time, those are the two areas the power forward must show improvement. Where Wilcox stands in the rotation is to be determined. He is behind starters Elton Brand and Chris Kaman and could also be behind reserve center Zeljko Rebraca. “I’m not the type of guy to say I should be a starter or I should be this,” Wilcox said. White signed The Clippers signed small forward Rodney White to a tryout contract. White averaged 5.1 points per game in 58 games last season with Denver and Golden State. To make room for White, they released former Illinois star Frank Williams, who had abbreviated practices on Monday because of migraines. — Joe Stevens Bynum on way down? Two days of training camp in Honolulu is too soon to tell, but the Lakers appear increasingly open to having 17-year-old center Andrew Bynum, their first-round draft pick, play some in the NBA Development League this season. The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement created a minor-league system for the first time with the D-League. The Lakers, along with Dallas, Golden State and Portland, are affiliated with the Fort Worth (Texas) Flyers, whose coach, Sam Vincent, is expected to attend camp. Under league rules, the Lakers could send their first-or second-year players to the D-League. The Lakers would retain rights to those players, who would be paid full NBA salaries, and could assign them to the league up to three times a season. The D-League’s 48-game regular season begins Nov. 19 and ends April 9. The eight-team league is spread across the Southeast and Southwest from Albuquerque, N.M., to Roanoke, Va. “I have no idea whether he’s going to be able to play in (an NBA) game or not,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Wednesday. “We’ll figure that out during the exhibition season.” Odom works out Lamar Odom took part in some contact drills, with his left shoulder emerging unscathed. Jackson, meanwhile, suggested Odom could be the player he turns to when one of the Lakers’ starting big men gets into foul trouble. — Ross Siler 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img Mike Dunleavy’s typical response of what could separate the Clippers from the playoffs this season is health. After the Clippers underwent various injuries last season, they finished eight games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, and the coach often says that if the Clippers avoid injuries, they can possibly make up those eight games. In training camp on Wednesday in Santa Barbara, however, Dunleavy diverted from his stress of staying healthy to make a strong statement about how much Chris Wilcox could mean to the Clippers. last_img

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