Magic Johnson is reportedly now a billionaire


NBA Hall of Famer and businessman Earvin “Magic” Johnson is officially a billionaire, according to Forbes.

Johnson joins Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Tiger Woods as the fourth athlete to earn billionaire status. Earlier this year, he added a minority stake in the Washington Commanders to his portfolio. He also has a 2.3% stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers and minority ownership of LAFC and Los Angeles Sparks.

Forbes estimates Johnson’s net worth to be $1.2 billion as a result of his stakes in teams and investments in a variety of industries.


Lakers sign Jarred Vanderbilt to contract extension

The Los Angeles Lakers yesterday signed forward Jarred Vanderbilt to a contract extension.

Vanderbilt’s extension is reportedly a four-year, $48 million deal.

After joining Los Angeles via trade from the Utah Jazz on Feb. 9, Vanderbilt (6’9”, 214) appeared in 26 games (24 starts) and averaged 7.2 points (52.9 FG%), 6.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.2 steals in 24.1 minutes per contest to end the 2022-23 regular season. Overall, Vanderbilt suited up in 78 games (65 starts) with the Lakers and Jazz last season, averaging 7.9 points (54.8 FG%), 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals in 24.1 minutes per game. During the 2023 NBA Playoffs with the purple and gold, the 24-year-old saw action in 15 games (13 starts) and averaged 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per contest.

Across five professional NBA seasons, Vanderbilt has appeared in 244 career games (162 starts) suiting up for Los Angeles (2022-23), Utah (2022-23), Minnesota (2019-22) and Denver (2018-20). The Texas native owns career averages of 6.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 20.6 minutes per game, shooting 57.3 percent overall from the field. In postseason action, Vanderbilt has appeared in 24 career games (19 starts) for the Lakers (2022-23), Timberwolves (2021-22) and Nuggets (2018-19), posting averages of 4.3 points and 3.8 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game.

Vanderbilt was selected by the Orlando Magic with the 41st overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft after one collegiate season (2017-18) at the University of Kentucky. In his lone campaign with the Wildcats, Vanderbilt averaged 5.9 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 17.0 minutes per contest.

Lakers sign Scotty Pippen Jr., Vincent Valerio-Bodon, Damion Baugh and Bryce Hamilton

The Los Angeles Lakers signed forward Vincent Valerio-Bodon and guards Damion Baugh, Bryce Hamilton and Scotty Pippen Jr., it was announced today.

The deals are likely non-guaranteed, and for training camp purposes.

Valerio-Bodon (6’9”, 200) most recently appeared in 30 games (all starts) for Sopron KC of the Hungarian NBIA during the 2022-23 season, averaging 8.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 25.7 minutes per game while shooting 50.3 percent from the field, 41.2 percent from 3-point range and 87.9 percent from the free-throw line. The 22-year-old previously played for DEAC of the Hungarian NBIA in 2021-22, appearing in 28 games (24 starts) and averaging of 5.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 19.3 minutes per game. Valerio-Bodon saw action in one game for the Boston Celtics at 2023 NBA 2K24 Summer League in Las Vegas, recording 13 points (4-8 FG, 2-4 3PT, 3-3 FT), six rebounds, three assists and one block in 25 minutes.

Baugh (6’4”, 194) begins his professional career after spending the past four seasons at TCU (2021-23) and the University of Memphis (2019-21). Collegiately, the Tennessee native appeared in 117 career games (88 starts), registering averages of 7.8 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 26.8 minutes. In his final season as a Horned Frog, Baugh appeared in 29 games (all starts) and averaged 12.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.8 steals in 35.0 minutes per game, earning him All-Big 12 Second Team honors. He concluded the season ranked third in the conference in total assists (169) and 13th in the NCAA in assists per game (5.8).

Hamilton (6’4”, 205) appeared in 29 regular season games (27 starts) as a rookie last season for the South Bay Lakers, averaging 14.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 28.2 minutes per game. The Pasadena, Calif., native played four collegiate seasons at UNLV (2018-22), appearing in 119 games (69 starts) and averaging 14.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 26.0 minutes per contest. His career-high 21.8 points per game average as a senior led all conference players. Hamilton earned a spot on three consecutive All-Mountain West conference teams, including two first team selections in 2019-20 and 2021-22.

As a rookie in 2022-23, Pippen Jr. (6’1”, 185) suited up in 19 NBA G League regular season games (four starts) for South Bay, posting averages of 21.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.6 steals in 27.9 minutes per game. The 22-year-old was selected to participate in the 2023 Jordan Rising Stars Game as part of NBA All-Star Weekend and was named NBA G League Player of the Week on Dec. 19. Additionally, he appeared in six games for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, averaging 2.3 points in 5.3 minutes. In three collegiate seasons (2019-22) at Vanderbilt University, he appeared in 90 games (89 starts) and averaged 17.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.6 steals in 31.6 minutes. Pippen Jr. earned All-SEC First Team honors following his sophomore and junior campaigns.

Lakers sign Christian Wood

The Los Angeles Lakers signed forward/center Christian Wood, it was announced today by Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka.

Wood (6’10”, 223) most recently appeared in 67 games (17 starts) with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2022-23 season, averaging 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.1 blocks in 25.9 minutes per game, while shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from 3-point range. Last season, the California native notched 12 double-doubles and scored in double figures in 54 games, including 25 contests scoring 20 or more points. Wood blocked at least one shot in 42 games last season, including 17 games with multiple rejections and two games in which he swatted a season-best five shots.

Per the LA Times, it’s “a two-year deal with a player option for the second year. Wood will make the veteran’s minimum, which for him is $2.7 million this season. In terms of talent versus cost, it’s an absolute bargain. The 6-foot-10, soon-to-be 28-year-old Wood is one of only a handful of players in the NBA with his size and skills. Last season, only six players 6-10 or taller made at least 37% of their three-points shots while taking more than 250 attempts. Wood was one of them — along with Lauri Markkanen, Brook Lopez, Kristaps Porzingis, Bobby Portis and Michael Porter Jr.”

Across seven NBA seasons with Dallas, Houston (2020-22), Detroit (2019-20), New Orleans (2018-19), Milwaukee (2018-19), Charlotte (2016-17) and Philadelphia (2015-16), the 27-year-old has appeared in 289 career games (139 starts), posting averages of 14.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 24.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 51.8 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from beyond the arc.

Wood played two collegiate seasons (2013-15) at UNLV, appearing in 63 total games (34 starts) and averaging 10.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 23.3 minutes per game.

Lakers will unveil Kobe Bryant statue outside of team’s arena on February 8, 2024

On 2.8.24, fans can forever pay tribute to beloved Lakers Legend and five-time champion Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers and Vanessa Bryant announced today that they will unveil Kobe Bryant’s bronze statue at Star Plaza outside of Arena on Feb. 8, 2024, prior to the Lakers’ home game that evening.

“As you know, Kobe played his entire 20-year NBA career as a Los Angeles Laker,” said Vanessa Bryant in a video to fans posted at 8:24 this morning. “Since arriving in this city and joining the Lakers organization, he felt at home here, playing in the City of Angels. On behalf of the Lakers, my daughters and me, I am so honored that, right in the center of Los Angeles, in front of the place known as the house that Kobe built, we are going to unveil his statue so that his legacy can be celebrated forever.”

Following his retirement, Kobe Bryant participated in the initial planning of the anticipated statue to come at Star Plaza. This is the first in a series of physical tributes to honor his legacy. Bryant will be the seventh Laker to be commemorated with a statue, joining Elgin Baylor, Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jerry West and Chick Hearn. The statue was created by renowned sculptor Julie Rotblatt Amrany of the Fine Art Studio of Rotblatt Amrany.

“Kobe Bryant was one of the most extraordinary athletes of all time, and one of the most iconic individuals in the history of Los Angeles,” said Jeanie Buss, Los Angeles Lakers Governor. “There is no better place for Kobe to be honored with a statue than here, at the center of our city, where everyone can celebrate him and be inspired by his incredible achievements.”

The Feb. 8 ceremony will be outside the arena and details will be released in the coming months.

“Kobe’s transcendent spirit is always and forever in our hearts – inspiring us every day,” said Rob Pelinka, Los Angeles Lakers Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager. “And now, with the unveiling of this powerful and beautiful statue, he will have a physical presence, too. A place on the hallowed ground Kobe created, where we can all gather and pay honor to a mighty and great man.”

Lakers sign Alex Fudge to two-way contract, and waive Cole Swider

The Los Angeles Lakers signed forward Alex Fudge to a two-way contract, it was announced today by Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka.

In a related move, the Lakers requested waivers on two-way forward Cole Swider.

Fudge (6’9”, 192) appeared in 61 career games (12 starts) across two seasons at the University of Florida (2022-23) and Louisiana State University (2021-22). In 2022-23, Fudge posted averages of 5.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 19.3 minutes in 32 games (11 starts) as a Gator. The 20-year-old most recently appeared in five games for Los Angeles at NBA 2K24 Summer League in Las Vegas.

Swider appeared in seven games for the Los Angeles Lakers last season, averaging 1.3 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.9 minutes per game. In NBA G League action, the 24-year-old appeared in 27 games (19 starts) for the South Bay Lakers during the 2022-23 campaign, averaging 17.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 28.7 minutes per contest. Swider was originally signed by the Lakers out of Syracuse University on July 1, 2022.

Lakers sign rookies Jalen Hood-Schifino and Maxwell Lewis

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed rookie guard Jalen Hood-Schifino and rookie forward Maxwell Lewis.

Selected by the Lakers with the 17th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Hood-Schifino (6’6”, 215) averaged 13.5 points (.417 FG%, .333 3P%), 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 32 games (all starts) in his lone season at Indiana University. The 2022-23 Big Ten Freshman of the Year also earned All-Big Ten Third Team honors and ranked ninth in the conference in total assists (117).

Lewis (6’7”, 205) averaged 14.6 points (.453 FG%, .354 3P%), 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 52 career games (33 starts) across two seasons (2021-23) at Pepperdine University. The 2022-23 All-WCC Second Team honoree posted averages of 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists in his final collegiate season. Lewis, selected with the 40th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, was acquired by the Lakers on June 22 as part of a four-team trade.

Lakers sign Jaxson Hayes

The Los Angeles Lakers signed center Jaxson Hayes, it was announced today by Vice President of Basketball Operations and General Manager Rob Pelinka.

Hayes (7’0”, 217) joins the purple and gold after spending the last four seasons (2019-23) with the New Orleans Pelicans. The 23-year-old appeared in 47 games (two starts) in 2022-23 and registered averages of 5.0 points (.551 FG%) and 2.8 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per game.

In 241 career NBA games (47 starts), Hayes has averaged 7.5 points (.622 FG%) and 4.0 rebounds in 16.8 minutes per contest. Hayes has recorded seven games with at least 20 points in his career and has shot over 60.0 percent from the field in three of his four NBA seasons. The Norman, Okla., native appeared in six postseason contests (all starts) following the 2021-22 season, averaging 5.8 points (.560 FG%) and 2.5 rebounds in 13.8 minutes per game.

Hayes was originally selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft out of the University of Texas. In one season with the Longhorns (2018-19), where he was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and an All-Big 12 Second Team honoree, he averaged 10.0 points (.728 FG%), 5.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks in 23.3 minutes per game. Hayes ranked fourth in the league in blocked shots (71), helping him earn a spot on the Big 12 All-Defensive Team.

Lakers sign Colin Castleton and D’Moi Hodge to two-way contracts

The Los Angeles Lakers yesterday signed center Colin Castleton and guard D’Moi Hodge to two-way contracts.

Castleton (6’11”, 231) appeared in 26 games (all starts) in his final campaign at the University of Florida last season, averaging 16.0 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 3.0 blocks in 31.2 minutes per contest, earning him All-SEC First Team honors. The 2023 All-SEC Defensive Team selection led the conference in blocks per game, good for the third-best mark in the NCAA. Across five seasons at Florida (2020-23) and the University of Michigan (2018-20), Castleton posted averages of 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.7 blocks in 20.9 minutes per game while shooting 53.7 percent from the field.

Hodge (6’4”, 185) most recently played his final collegiate season at the University of Missouri (2022-23) where he averaged 14.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.6 steals in 29.1 minutes per game, while shooting an SEC-best 40.0 percent from 3-point range. The British Virgin Islands native led the conference in both total steals (91) and steals per game as a Tiger. Prior to Missouri, Hodge played at Cleveland State University (2020-22) and the State College of Florida (2018-20).

Both players will suit up for the 2023 Los Angeles Lakers’ Summer League team.

D’Angelo Russell reportedly re-signing with Lakers


Co-heads of CAA Basketball Austin Brown and Aaron Mintz, along with Antonio Russell, have confirmed that D’Angelo Russell has an agreement on a two-year, $37 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

A player option for the next year is part of the agreement.

In a three-team trade involving the Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Utah Jazz, Russell, who was originally selected by the Lakers with the No. 2 overall pick in 2015, returned to Los Angeles in February. He came from the Wolves to take the place of departing Russell Westbrook.