LOS ANGELES — As the Lakers aim to develop their young roster, they have decided to retain an emerging young forward and a veteran fan favorite.The Lakers plan to keep reserve forwards Thomas Robinson and Metta World Peace past Tuesday when their one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum becomes guaranteed.Though that will not become official until Tuesday, all NBA teams would have had to make potential cuts to their roster by 2 p.m. PT on Saturday to give those players time to clear waivers. The Lakers can still waive Robinson or World Peace later in the season, though they would owe each player their full salary.Various factors influenced the Lakers’ decision to keep their 15-man roster as is. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error A different takeIt turns out Heat guard Goran Dragic did not just take issue with Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson shoving him in Friday’s game. Dragic admitted he felt “surprised” over the ejection.“The kid was the aggressor,” Dragic told Miami reporters on Saturday.Dragic also disputed Clarkson’s rationale that he simply pushed him initially because Dragic had elbowed him earlier in the stomach. “I didn’t do that,” Dragic told Miami reporters. “If I did that, I would say I did it. I’m an honest guy. The video don’t lie.”Dragic also raised his eyebrows over Clarkson getting into a boxer’s stance once Dragic confronted Clarkson for shoving him to the floor.“I’ve been in plenty of fights,” said Dragic, which also included with former Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic. “I was not scared. I didn’t want to fight. It was just an emotional reaction for me.” The Lakers considered adding a frontcourt player to absorb the absence of reserve forward Larry Nance Jr. who has stayed sidelined the past two weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee. But Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak told Southern California News Group that he would have likely felt more inclined to make a roster change had Nance suffered a season-ending injury. The Lakers expect Nance to return in about two weeks.After the former No. 5 pick in the NBA draft had short stops in Sacramento (2012-13), Houston (2012-13), Portland (2013-15), Philadelphia (2014-15) and Brooklyn (2015-16), Robinson has prolonged his stay with the Lakers with consistent hustle and production. He has averaged 4.1 points on 51.6 percent shooting and 5.0 rebounds in 11.9 minutes off the bench. During the eight games Nance has missed thus far, Robinson has taken advantage of an increased role by posting 6.67 points on 65.9 percent shooting and 8.5 rebounds in 17.88 minutes per contest.World Peace hardly mirrors the production that made the former Ron Artest a Lakers fan favorite during the teams’ 2010 NBA championship run. World Peace has posted career-lows in points (1.1), shooting percentage (22.7 percent) and playing time (5.2 minutes) through 14 appearances.After the Lakers’ win over Miami on Friday, Lakers coach Luke Walton offered a strong endorsement for the 37-year-old World Peace because of his mentorship presence with a young team. Walton also argued World Peace would be more effective offering those qualities as a player than as a member of his coaching staff.“I want the guy around our players,” Walton said. “He’s a professional. I think it’s more beneficial when he’s actually in practice and in the trenches with them. But he’s someone that helps the team being around.”
MIDWEEK racing resumes at Caymanas Park today with a well supported 10-race programme featuring the Alty McKenzie Memorial Cup over a mile (claiming $350,000 – $300,000) and the overnight allowance sprint over 1100 metres. Post time is 12.30 p.m. and 10 races are scheduled. The Alty McKenzie Memorial has attracted eight starters and the three that matter are JESSIE JAMES, COMPUTERIZE and BIGBROWNGREYHOPE. All three are ideally suited to a mile and should ensure a close contest, but strictly at the weights, the Marlon Anderson-trained BIGBROWNGREYHOPE the most appealing in the hands of champion apprentice Linton Steadman with only 53.0kg. True, he broke down and did not finish when highly fancied some months ago, but stepping down in class and now under the care of a shrewd trainer, gets the nod over COMPUTERIZE under leading jockey Omar Walker and the stretch-running JESSIE JAMES, the mount of top apprentice Bebeto Harvey. The overnight allowance sprint also has eight starters and should see Walker aboard DREAMLINER turning the tables on Steadman, who rides ROYAL ASSAULT. Both are proven speed horses who ran well last time out and I expect them to turn for home clear of he well-trained UNCLE TAF. Victory, however, should go to the Wayne DaCosta-trained three-year-old colt DREAMLINER, who should prove that much stronger than the four-year-old colt ROYAL ASSAULT in the last furlong. Other firm fancies on the card are SCAR to go one better in the second race over a mile, DUSSELDORF in the fifth, REIGN OVER ALL in the seventh and BIG AL in the eighth.