Summer league finale

The Lakers conclude their six-game summer league schedule in Las Vegas with a game today against the Denver Nuggets (3:30 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center). They fell to 2-3 after an 89-71 loss Friday night to the Toronto Raptors. Pat Calathes scored 10 points and Lorenzo Mata-Real (UCLA) had five points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers. Joey Graham led Toronto with 20 points.

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Turiaf joins Warriors

Ronny Turiaf officially joined Golden State tonight when the Lakers declined to match a four-season, $17-million offer from the Warriors. Turiaf will get more playing time next season with the rebuilding Warriors than he would have with the Lakers. GM Mitch Kupchak said tonight he would now pursue Sasha Vujacic full bore. Kupchak had hoped to retain both Turiaf and Vujacic.

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Bynum cleared

Andrew Bynum was cleared to resume offseason conditioning and basketball activities, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said this afternoon. Bynum is expected to recover fully from a left kneecap injury that cut short his season and to be the Lakers starting center for 2008-09. Pau Gasol will move from center to power forward. Bynum is set to begin his offseason workouts next week.

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Walton update

Luke Walton underwent successful surgery on his right ankle today. Dr. David Thordarson performed the surgery, removing bone spurs and scar tissue and also cleaning out cartilage debris. Walton is expected to be fully recovered by the start of training camp in October.

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Turiaf update

Nothing new to report, but I just found out that the Lakers have until midnight tonight to match the Warriors’ offer sheet to Ronny Turiaf. I expect the Lakers to take every last minute before letting Turiaf walk to Golden State. The Warriors’ offer of $17 million over four seasons is too rich for the Lakers. Turiaf told our sister paper, the Contra Costa Times, that he’s been “chilling” at home while awaiting word.

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Nothing official yet

No word yet on whether the Lakers have declined to match the Golden State Warriors’ offer of $17 million over four seasons to restricted free agent Ronny Turiaf. Check back this afternoon, when Turiaf is expected to join the Warriors. There also could be news on what the Lakers plan to do to replace Turiaf, a backup forward-center.

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Crawford comes through

Joe Crawford made a running jump shot with 2.9 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a 95-93 victory Wednesday night over the MInnesota Timberwolves in the Las Vegas Summer League. Crawford, the Lakers’ lone draft pick last month, scored 10 points. Nik Caner-Medley led the Lakers (2-2) with 19 points and Coby Karl added 14. The Lakers play the Toronto Raports on Friday night.

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Agent swap

Sasha Vujacic recently left agent Bill Duffy for Rob Pelinka after leaving Pelinka for Duffy. Vujacic, a restricted free agent, has yet to receive an outside offer and talks with the Lakers on a new conract haven’t gone anywhere yet despite a stated desire by the player and the team to get a long-term deal done.The Lakers extended a one-season qualifying offer of $2.6 million to Vujacic, which ensured their right to lock him up as a restricted free agent.

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Karl’s job hunt

Coby Karl scored 18 points in the Lakers’ 81-73 loss Tuesday night to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Las Vegas Summer League. Karl scored in double figures for the third consecutive game, making a statement so far in the summer league.
Karl, a guard who played 17 games with the Lakers last season after signing as a free agent from Boise State last summer, needs a new contract for 2008-09. He’s been impressive while leading the Lakers’ summer league team in scoring.
Joe Crawford, the Lakers’ lone draft pick last month, added 16 points Tuesday.
The Lakers (1-2) continue summer league play against the Minnesota Timberwolves at 5:30 tonight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

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Farmar going to the Middle East

We’ll be sure and follow up with Jordan on this when he returns. It sounds like quite a trip. But for now, here’s the release:

Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, in partnership with the Peres Center for Peace, will be hosting basketball clinics for Israeli and Palestinian children in Israel from August 4-11,2008. The trip will serve as a follow up to Farmar’s visit in 2006 to the Seeds of Peace camp in Maine. This program uses sports to bring together Israeli and Palestinian children. The children play different sports together, and discuss the shared problems and challenges in their daily lives.

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