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Lakers re-sign Jordan Hill

Lakers re-sign Jordan Hill

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed forward/center Jordan Hill to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“Jordan has been a consistent contributor for us over the last three seasons and we are pleased to keep him in the Laker family,” said Kupchak. “Jordan’s frontcourt versatility is a benefit to our roster and his on-court work ethic is something we value on our team. We hope he’ll continue to work hard and develop as an NBA player”

Hill had the best season of his NBA career in 2013-14, his third with the Lakers since being acquired at the trade deadline in March of 2012, averaging career-highs across-the-board in points (9.7), rebounds (7.4) and blocks (0.9) per game while shooting a personal-best 54.9% from the field in 32 starts. The 26-year-old finished 3rd in the NBA in offensive rebounding percentage (13.8), 9th in total rebounding percentage (19.0), and 20th in defensive rebounding percentage (24.3) in his 20.8 minutes per game. The 6’10’’ Hill also had a number of standout individual-game performances, highlighted by a career-high 28 points 3/23/17 vs. Orlando and 3/27/14 at Milwaukee and a career-high 17 rebounds (12 defensive, also his high mark) 11/17/13 vs. Detroit.

Selected by the Knicks with the eighth pick in the in the 2009 NBA Draft, Hill played 24 games in New York before being traded to the Houston in a three-way deal involving Sacramento in February 2010. Hill, the second-longest tenured Laker (Kobe Bryant), was dealt to the Lakers in exchange for Derek Fisher and a 2014 first round draft pick on March 15, 2012.

Lakers sign forward Ed Davis

Lakers sign forward Ed Davis

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Ed Davis, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“Ed is a versatile, young frontcourt player who, if he continues to work hard, will be a valuable contributor,” said Kupchak. “We look forward to him furthering his development with the Lakers and are excited by what we think he can offer our team.”

Davis, a four-year NBA veteran, appeared in 63 games (four starts) last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging 5.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 15.2 minutes per game, and led the team in field goal percentage (53.4%) during the regular season.

Originally selected 13th overall by Toronto in the 2010 NBA Draft, Davis was acquired by the Grizzlies in a three-team trade that also included Detroit on January 30, 2013. In 275 career NBA games (58 starts), Davis has averaged 6.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 20.8 minutes. Additionally, the Washington D.C. native has appeared in the playoffs each of the last two postseasons, logging 15 games.

A 6’10” forward, Davis was a member of the 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship-winning UNC Tar Heel team and was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team the same year before declaring for the Draft following his sophomore season.

Lakers re-sign Ryan Kelly

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed free agent forward Ryan Kelly, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“When we extended a qualifying offer to Ryan in June, we fully expected him to be a part of our future,” said Kupchak. “Ryan did everything we asked of him as a rookie and showed great promise and potential. After rehabbing an injury last summer, he will have the benefit of a full offseason regimen and training camp for the first time in his NBA career, and we anticipate further development as a result.”

In 2013-14, his rookie NBA season, Kelly averaged 8.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.8 blocks in 22.2 minutes per game, and started 25 contests while appearing in 59 total games. The 23-year-old Kelly scored 20+ points on three occasions last season, including a career-high 26 on February 5th at Cleveland and became just the third Laker rookie in the last 20 years (Kobe Bryant and Eddie Jones) to score 17+ points in consecutive games when he did so 1/17 at BOS and 1/19 at TOR.

In five games while on assignment with the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League, Kelly averaged 25.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks in 39.6 minutes.

The 6’11’’ forward was selected by the Lakers in the second round (48th overall pick) in the 2013 NBA draft. The former McDonald’s All-American, who earned a 2010 NCAA Championship as well as two ACC Championships with Duke, played all four seasons for the Blue Devils, where he averaged 7.5 points and 3.7 rebounds while shooting 46% from the field. As a senior, Kelly was named ACC Player of the Week twice and earned honorable mention All-ACC honors despite missing 13 games due to injury. Kelly finished his final season with the Blue Devils averaging 12.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.6 blocked shots in 28.9 minutes per game.

Lakers re-sign Nick Young

Lakers re-sign Nick Young

The Los Angeles Lakers have re-signed guard Nick Young to a multi-year contract, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

“When Nick became a free agent in June, I expressed hope that we would be able to bring him back on a contract that was in the best interest of both the Lakers and himself, and I am proud to say we were able to do so,” said Kupchak. “Nick was a bright spot for us last season, and we are happy to retain such a skilled player who is committed to being a part of what we are building as a franchise.”

Young had a career year in 2013-14 after originally signing with the Lakers as a free agent in July, 2013. The Los Angeles native averaged a career-high 17.9 points in his first season in the purple-and-gold, twice hitting the 40-point mark, and led the team in scoring a team-best 22 times. In a predominantly bench role (nine starts in 64 games), Young averaged 18.8 points as a reserve, ranking him 1st in the NBA for points per game among players who came off the bench 20 or more times. Young also led the league in four-point plays last season (seven, also a Lakers franchise record) and finished 3rd in the NBA in points per touch (0.45).

After a three-year collegiate career at USC, the seven-year pro was drafted by the Washington Wizards with the 16th pick of the 2007 NBA Draft. Young was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in March 2012 and played the following season (2012-13) for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on a Kobe Bryant documentary that every basketball fan on the planet is probably going to watch:

Kobe Bryant documentary coming in November

Kobe Bryant says he’s “scared” about his future after basketball, although he’s embracing the challenge of finding something that he can be as passionate about as sports.

Bryant turns 36 next month and is under contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for two more years. He was limited to just six games last season because of two major leg injuries, leaving him with the kind of idle time he never had before in his career.

Bryant gives a peek into his life in a Showtime documentary airing in November. “Kobe Bryant’s Muse” covers much of last season, when Bryant was sidelined and the Lakers finished 27-55, the most losses in club history.

“It’s a fascinating time to be around this guy,” said Gotham Chopra, who directed the film. “There’s this sort of looking forward to life after basketball. This is a guy that’s asking a lot of questions.”

Lakers get Carlos Boozer

The Los Angeles Lakers have been awarded the contract of Carlos Boozer on a partial waiver claim, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Boozer had been waived by the Chicago Bulls pursuant to the amnesty provision of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article VII, Section 12 (f)(5)).

“Carlos is an established veteran and a proven all-star, who will be a welcome addition to our team,” said Kupchak. “We’re very pleased to have won the bidding process and to have gained his rights, and look forward to his contributions next season.”

Boozer, a 12-year NBA veteran and two-time NBA All-Star who has appeared in the postseason eight consecutive years, started and appeared in 76 games for the Chicago Bulls in 2013-14, averaging 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 28.2 minutes per game. In his fourth season with the Bulls, the 6’9” forward posted 25 double-doubles and led the team in scoring 13 times.

Originally selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round (35th overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft, Boozer has averaged 16.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 790 career NBA games (749 starts) with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz and Bulls while shooting 52.3% from the field. Boozer has received All-NBA Third Team (2008) and NBA All-Rookie Second Team (2003) honors during his career in addition to being named the Player of the Week six times and the Player of the Month twice.

Lakers sign first round draft pick Julius Randle

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Julius Randle, the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Randle will be available to play in today’s NBA Summer League game in Las Vegas against the New Orleans Pelicans at 1:30 p.m.

In his lone season at Kentucky, Randle appeared in 40 games (all starts) for the Wildcats, averaging 15.0 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.8 blocks in 30.8 minutes per game en route to being named the SEC Freshman of the Year in addition to being a First Team All-SEC, SEC All-Freshman and SEC All-Tournament Team selection.

The Dallas, TX native led the nation with 24 double-doubles and had seven games of scoring 20+ points in 2013-14. The 19-year-old led Kentucky to the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship game with consecutive double-doubles in Sweet 16 and Elite Eight victories before scoring 16 points with five rebounds against Wisconsin in the Final Four and notching 10 points with six rebounds and four assists in the final.

Here’s the Associated Press, via Philly.com, reporting the latest on veteran star forward Carmelo Anthony:

Knicks, Lakers among teams that want Carmelo Anthony

The Knicks went coast to coast to let Carmelo Anthony know they want him to stay in New York.

Team officials traveled to Los Angeles on Thursday night to meet with the free agent and offered him the maximum contract allowable, a person with knowledge of the details said.

Team President Phil Jackson and general manager Steve Mills were part of the meeting but not Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, an official with knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of the meeting were to remain private.

The meeting was first reported by ESPN.

Anthony was in Los Angeles to meet with the Lakers, who are among the teams hoping to convince the All-Star forward to leave New York. Anthony already visited Chicago, Houston and Dallas this week.

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on some Pau Gasol free agency possibilities:

Lakers, Knicks could be Pau Gasol free agency possibilities

While free-agent forward Pau Gasol grew tired of the persistent trade rumors that followed him for the better part of the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, he would give strong consideration to re-signing with the team, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

Gasol has strong ties to Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who has advocated for his return, and a deep affinity for Los Angeles and the franchise he won two NBA titles with. While the constant trade rumors stung, Gasol learned to live with them and has a level of expectation that a new coaching staff would prioritize him more than Mike D’Antoni did, sources said.

ESPN reported Friday that the New York Knicks are preparing to make a run at the 7-foot Spaniard who thrived in new Knicks president Phil Jackson’s triangle offense in L.A. The Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors are also expected to pursue Gasol in free agency, sources said.

However, Gasol may have to wait until free-agent forwards Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James make their decisions, as many of the teams with an interest in Gasol also have an interest in Anthony and James.

The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired the draft rights to Jordan Clarkson, selected 46th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft, from the Washington Wizards in exchange for cash considerations, it was announced tonight by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Clarkson, a 6’5’’ junior guard from Missouri, was named Second Team All-SEC by the coaches in his lone season with the Tigers. An early entry candidate, Clarkson ranked among NCAA leaders in both free throws made (72nd) and percentage (101st), as well as field goals (51st) in 2013-14. The San Antonio, TX native spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Tulsa, where he was selected First Team All-Conference USA in 2011-12, following his C-USA All-Freshman team honors in 2010-11.

Nick Young decides to become free agent

Nick Young decides to become free agent

The Los Angeles Lakers were informed today by agent Mark Bartelstein that his client Nick Young will not be exercising his option to extend his contract, making him a free agent.

“We anticipated and expected that Nick would choose to become a free agent,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “We very much appreciate his contributions to last season’s team, and we will hopefully be able to bring him back. However, he, his agent and the market will dictate his future direction.”

In 64 games (nine starts) during the 2013-14 season, his first with the Lakers, Young averaged a career-high 17.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 28.3 minutes per game. The Los Angeles native maintained the highest scoring average (18.8 points per game off the bench) for a reserve in the NBA and scored 40+ points as a member of the second unit two times.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Lakers, who have many needs, one of which is a new head coach:

Lakers interested in Byron Scott for coaching job

While the Lakers remain focused on Thursday’s draft and the start of free agency July 1, sources tell ESPN.com that former Lakers star Byron Scott has emerged as the leading candidate for the head-coaching job after impressing in three interviews with the team.

Talks with the former Nets and Cavaliers coach have not progressed to the contract stage, as the Lakers continue to weigh whether to hold off on hiring a coach before they make their pitches to free agents.

Here’s the Los Angeles Times reporting that the Los Angeles Lakers have interest in Alvin Gentry, who has been around:

Alvin Gentry is a Lakers coaching candidate

Add Clippers associate head coach Alvin Gentry to the list of candidates the Lakers plan on interviewing for their head-coaching vacancy, The Times has learned.

After talking with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak by phone last Friday, Gentry has an interview with Kupchak and vice president Jim Buss on Wednesday to talk about replacing Mike D’Antoni, according to several NBA executives who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Gentry also has an interview for the head coaching opening with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, the executives said.

The Los Angeles Lakers need a new head coach. And veteran star Kobe Bryant wants his opinion to be heard as the team figures out who to hire. Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting:

Kobe Bryant wants Lakers to consult him on head coach hire

Bryant hopes the Lakers will sing a different tune than they have in the past when it comes to consulting him about hiring their next coach.

“On the last two they didn’t,” Bryant said, referring to Mike Brown and D’Antoni, who both failed to endure the length of the initial contracts they signed with the Lakers before parting ways. “On the third one, I’m hoping they do.”

Taking over for a legend like Phil Jackson is never easy, of course. Bryant said he still speaks to Jackson “often” and expects the 11-time championship winning coach to transfer those results to his front-office role with the New York Knicks.

“I think he’ll do fantastic,” Bryant said. “Especially the more people say that he won’t be successful.”

Bryant had similar faith in the Lakers’ brass, endorsing the efforts by Jackson’s fiancée and Lakers president, Jeanie Buss, as well as her brother and Lakers executive vice president of player personnel, Jim Buss, in steering the franchise in the right direction.

“Jimmy and Jeanie both, they’re just really determined and excited about the possibilities of next season and rebuilding this and building on their father’s legacy and everything that he’s accomplished,” Bryant said.

Here’s the New York Daily News reporting on Steve Kerr:

Steve Kerr has multiple coaching job options

Steve Kerr is now the top candidate for three high-profile jobs, with the Golden State Warriors joining the Lakers as formidable competition for Phil Jackson and the Knicks.

According to a league source, Warriors owner Joe Lacob wants to hire Kerr to replace Mark Jackson, who was fired on Tuesday following three successful seasons as Golden State’s head coach. In fact, the Warriors wasted no time reaching out to Kerr, contacting him less than three hours after Jackson was dismissed. And a source maintains that the Warriors’ job is Kerr’s if he wants it.

The Knicks are still in play, but it is telling that Kerr — who met with Jackson 11 days ago in New York — has not made a decision, and that by delaying, two attractive jobs have become available.

Turning down Jackson in New York to coach Jackson’s former club in Los Angeles would be a stunning turn of events. The Warriors seem more logical since Kerr has several connections to the organization. He knows Lacob well and has a relationship with Lacob’s son Kirk, who works in Golden State’s front office. Kerr also worked with Warriors president Rick Welts in Phoenix.

The president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP resigned Thursday, following scrutiny of his plan to give Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling an award for promoting civil rights.

Leon Jenkins was to present Sterling with a “lifetime achievement award” later this month. Jenkins rescinded that offer Monday after a recording surfaced over the weekend on which Sterling disparaged black men.

In a letter to the national leader of the nation’s oldest civil rights organization, Jenkins wrote, “In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP.”

– Associated Press

Mike D’Antoni has resigned as Head Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, it was announced today by Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Although no timetable has been established, the search for a replacement will begin immediately.

D’Antoni, who was hired by the Lakers to replace Mike Brown on November 12, 2012, had a 67-87 record in his two seasons with the team. He previously was head coach of the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks, and has a career record of 455-426.

“Given the circumstances, I don’t know that anybody could have done a better job than Mike did the past two seasons,” said Kupchak. “On behalf of the Lakers, we thank Mike for the work ethic, professionalism and positive attitude that he brought to the team every day. We wish him the best of luck.”

The Los Angeles Lakers have promoted Jim Perzik to Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs/Secretary, and have hired Dan Grigsby as General Counsel, replacing Perzik, it was announced today by team President Jeanie Buss. Grigsby joins the Lakers from the law firm of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell, where he was Partner and Chairman of the National Sports Law Group since 2004. He has worked as outside legal counsel for the Lakers at the firm, as well as when he previously worked at Arnold & Porter (2001-04), Blanc Williams Johnston & Kronstadt (1997-2001), Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott (1991-97) and Fine, Perzik & Friedman (1981-91). Grigsby graduated from UCLA in 1977 with a degree in political science, and received his law degree in 1981, graduating from the Whittier College School of Law. He passed the California State Bar Exam in May of 1981.

Perzik, who represented former Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss for 45 years, was intimately involved in the complicated acquisition of the team by Dr. Buss in 1979 when he purchased the Lakers, the Forum, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and related properties from previous owner Jack Kent Cooke. In his new position, Perzik will continue to oversee the Lakers’ legal issues, including the development of the team’s new training facility and offices. In January 2015, he will decrease his office workload, but will continue to work with the team in a consulting capacity.

“Having worked with Dan as our outside legal representative for over 30 years, we’re very familiar and comfortable with him, and have the highest regard for him as both an attorney and person,” said Buss. “Jim has been a part of our Lakers family as well as an important member of our organization for many years,” continued Buss. “His contributions to our company and our success have been invaluable and greatly appreciated.”

Kobe Bryant begins new training routine

Here’s ESPN Los Angeles reporting on veteran Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who maintains his competitive fire and is still being paid like a team-carrying superstar:

Kobe Bryant begins new training routine

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant began an intense six-month training program with an early-morning workout Monday, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

Bryant has been cleared for running and shooting as he returns from a broken bone in his left lateral tibial plateau that caused him to miss all but six games this season. He has been ramping up his activity level the last few weeks and was confident about pushing harder after receiving positive feedback during a consultation last week with the doctors in Germany who previously performed the platelet-rich plasma treatment known as Orthokine on his knees.

Bryant visited the doctors while he was in Europe on a short trip with his family last week, sources said.

Here’s ESPN.com reporting on the Los Angeles Lakers, general manager Mitch Kupchak, and aging veteran star Kobe Bryant:

Kobe Bryant looks to be having an excellent anniversary trip in Paris, judging by the photos posted on his wife’s Instagram account, but on the off chance he happened to be watching Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak’s 45-minute news conference Friday to close the worst season since the franchise moved to Los Angeles, there was something Kupchak really wanted him to understand.

“I’ve already used the word patience I think once or twice, so if [Bryant] is in Europe watching this, I’m sure he’s saying, ‘Why is Mitch using the word patience?’” Kupchak said. “He’s not the most patient person in the world. And that’s never going to change.

“Because of that, we’ve been to the Finals a bunch of times and we’ve won five championships. So, it’s hard to criticize him.

“We want the same thing. We both want to win as much and as soon as possible. But it takes an organization a long time to get in the position that we’re in where we have options financially going forward for the next year or two or three and we just have to make wise decisions using that space. If you don’t make a wise decision, then you can set yourself back 6-7 years, and we don’t want to do that.”

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