Blake signs contract

The Lakers signed Steve Blake to a four-year, $16-million contract today, scratching one item of their offseason to-do list. They still must re-sign Derek Fisher to a new deal and try to lure Shannon Brown back with a new contract after he opted to become a free agent. Today was the first day free agents could sign new contracts. The Lakers and Blake agreed on the deal last Friday. Fisher has returned from China, so it would figure to be only a matter of time before he and the Lakers get a new deal done. I’m guessing that two years and $8 million probably would get Fisher’s name on the dotted line. Then again, Fisher’s value in big games (See: Game 3 of the Finals) is worth considerably more to the Lakers.

Here’s what Bryant told reporters at his camp at UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday:

“We need to have him back, it’s as simple as that. It’s not a question of if he will be back; it’s a matter of when. I don’t care what [the cost] is,They need to work that out and get him back because his significance to our ballclub and to me cannot be understated.

“He’s our big-shot maker, he complements me in terms of leadership in the locker room because he’s the guy that puts his arms around everybody and he’s our emotional leader and that allows me to be the taskmaster. We need to get him back and have him be a part of this group and in the fold.

“I’m optimistic that it will happen but we got to get that done.”

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