Since they can’t even agree on a handshake deal until Friday, it would be premature to say the Lakers will sign free agent 3-point specialist Jason Kapono. Friday also is the first day free agents can sign contracts, but it’s a pretty safe bet that Kapono will be signed and on the court by the time the first of two practices begins that day. Kapono’s addition would give the Lakers a bona fide 3-point threat, something they lacked after they dealt Sasha Vujacic to the New Jersey Nets for Joe Smith last December. It also will be interesting to learn how new coach Mike Brown plans to use Kapono in his offense.
Also, the Lakers’ appeal of Andrew Bynum’s five-game suspension for thumping J.J. Barea of the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4 of the playoffs was turned down by the NBA. Bynum also can appeal directly to the league himself, but it’s unlikely it will grant his appeal after denying the Lakers’. So, expect him to sit out the Lakers’ first five games of the 2011-12 season, starting with the Christmas tilt against the Bulls.