Summer league roster

The Lakers finalized their summer league roster for their opener Friday night against the Detroit Pistons at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
Here’s the roster ….
Cedric Bozeman, guard (UCLA).
Pat Calathes, forward (St. Joseph’s).
Nik Caner-Medley, forward (Maryland).
Joe Crawford, guard (Kentucky, second-round draft pick).
Bryant Dunston, forward (Fordham).
Sharrod Ford, forward (Clemson).
Taj Gray, guard (Oklahoma).
Davon Jefferson, forward (USC).
Coby Karl, guard (Boise State, Lakers reserve last season).
Marcelus Kemp, guard (Nevada).
Yi Li, forward (China).
Lorenzo Mata-Real, forward (UCLA).
Dwayne Mitchell, guard (Louisiana-Lafayette).
Brian Roberts, guard (Dayton).
Michael Southhall, center (Louisiana-Lafayette).
James White, guard-forward (Cincinnati).

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Turiaf update

No word yet on whether Ronny Turiaf has signed an offer sheet with the Golden State Warriors. Turiaf reportedly has agreed to a four-season deal worth $17.5 million from the Warriors, but he hasn’t signed it as of this moment. The Lakers have the right to match the deal because Turiaf is a restricted free agent.

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Odom for Artest?

The Lakers have called the Sacramento Kings about swapping Lamar Odom for Ron Artest, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee. Their salaries don’t match up, so the Kings would have to throw in a player to make the deal work under the league’s rules.
Odom will make roughly $14 million in the final year of his deal and Artest will make $7.4 million in the final year of his. The Bee’s story indicated the Kings would want the Lakers to take Kenny Thomas and the $18 milliion he is owed over the next two years.
As mentioned in a previous post, the Lakers could use someone with the muscle of Artest. They were punished repeatedly by more physical teams during the playoffs, especially during their loss in the Finals to the Boston Celtics.
Artest comes with his share of baggage, no doubt about it, but it would be interesting (and entertaining) to see him paired with Lakers coach Phil Jackson.

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Turiaf agrees with Warriors

Ronny Turiaf has been offered a four-year deal worth $17 million by the Golden State Warriors, according to late-night reports on the web sites of our sister paper, the Contra Costa Times, and the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
The Lakers have seven days to match the Warriors’ offer sheet to Turiaf, a restricted free agent. The question is: will they?
The Lakers have salary cap issues and they haven’t filled out their roster for 2008-09 yet. The cap has been set at $58.680 million for next season (up from $55.630 million last season) and the luxury tax will kick in at $71.150 million (up from $67.865). The Lakers’ payroll could be somewhere around $80 million if they match the Warriors’ offer for Turiaf.
With Andrew Bynum returning to form after suffering a season-ending left kneecap injury, Pau Gasol under contract for three more seasons and Chris MIhm available for another year, the Lakers would seem to be well-stocked up front.
Look for the Lakers to pursue veteran Kurt Thomas if they decide against retaining Turiaf.

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Quiet before the storm

The league’s dead period comes to an end Wednesday, with teams able to sign free agents.Nothing has changed in the last few days for the Lakers, whose plan going into the July 1 negotiating period was to re-sign guard Sasha Vujacic and forward Ronny Turiaf, two valuable reserves on their Western Conference championship team last season.
However, there appears to be a backup plan in place in case GM Mitch Kupchak can’t get deals done with Vujacic and Turiaf, who are restricted free agents.
Kupchak reportedly has expressed an interest in signing unrestricted free agent Brent Barry in case he can’t get a deal done with Vujacic. Kupchak also has talked with the agents for swingman James Posey and forward Kurt Thomas in case he can’t retain Turiaf.
Kupchak also hopes to sign Chinese guard Sun Yue, a second-round draft pick in 2007.
The next few days could be busy ones for Kupchak.

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Bynum update

Andrew Bynum expects to resume his workouts “pretty much full bore” next week, Sean Zarzana, his personal trainer, said Tuesday afternoon. Bynum was in New York completing his rehab work on his surgically-repaired left kneecap, but he and Zarzana will travel to Atlanta to start their offseason routine “sometime next week.”
Bynum has no lingering pain or inflation in his kneecap and there are no limitations on what he can do, Zarzana said.
Bynum hired Zarzana last summer in the wake of criticism from teammate Kobe Bryant. Bynum arrived at training camp in the best shape of his career and was averaging career highs of 13.1 points and 10.2 rebounds when he injured his kneecap Jan. 13.

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Holi-daze

A quiet holiday weekend has turned into a quiet Monday afternoon. The Lakers have been talking to the agents for restricted free agents Sasha Vujacic and Ronny Turiaf, but there’s nothing significant to report so far. The Lakers can re-sign Vujacic and Turiaf starting Wednesday.
The Lakers also can sign outside free agents.
Word from Boston is that unrestricted free agent James Posey isn’t happy with the Celtics’ attempts to re-sign him. The Lakers are one of a number of teams that have shown an interest in signing Posey, a key backup on Boston’s NBA championship team.
Also, I left a phone message with Andrew Bynum’s personal trainer this morning to see when they might start their offseason workouts. Bynum has been cleared to resume his workouts after missing the second half of last season because of a left kneecap injury.
Haven’t heard back, but will post an update when I do.

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Summer league

The Lakers’ summer league roster won’t be finalized until Thursday, but they gave us a sneak-peak this afternoon. Here’s a look at some of the names on the list:
Cedric Bozeman … Former UCLA guard.
Joe Crawford … Second-round pick in last month’s draft from Kentucky.
Davon Jefferson … Forward from USC.
Coby Karl … Backup guard with the Lakers last season.
Marcelus Kemp … Undrafted guard from Nevada.
Yi Li … Forward from China.
Lorenzo Mata-Real … Undrafted forward from UCLA.
Here’s the Lakers’ summer league schedule (all games in Las Vegas):
Friday vs. Detroit, 5 p.m., Cox Pavilion.
Sunday vs. Memphis, 5 p.m., Cox Pavilion
July 15 vs. Philadelphia, 5 p.m., Cox Pavilion
July 16 vs. Minnesota, 5:30 p.m., Thomas and Mack Center
July 18 vs. Toronto, 5:30 p.m., Thomas and Mack Center
July 19 vs. Denver, 3:30 p.m., Thomas and Mack Center

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Bad trade

Today I join with Seattle fans in mourning the move of the SuperSonics from the Emerald City to Oklahoma City. I’ll miss the mist and fog and rain of Seattle. I’ll miss the rare sunny days in mid-winter. I never had a bad meal in the city. I always enjoyed the crowds at the KeyArena. There wasn’t a bad seat in the place. It just didn’t have enough luxury suites to make the team as profitable as new ownership would like. New ownership that hails from Oklahoma, by the way. Not since the Grizzlies moved from Vancouver to Memphis has there been such a bad trade.

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