Report: C.J. Miles considering Lakers’ offer

Tomorrow’s story tonight …

The Lakers would get deeper and more experienced on the wing if free agent C.J. Miles decides to sign with them this week. He is considering their offer of a one- or two-season contract worth $3 million per year, according to a report Tuesday.

Miles, a 6-foot-6, 222-pound small forward, has drawn serious interest from the Lakers, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. The newspaper, citing an unnamed source, said the former Utah Jazz player could make his decision in the next two to three days.

Miles, an unrestricted free agent, also has met with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Dallas Mavericks since free agency began July 1, according to our sister paper. In addition, several unnamed teams have offered the Jazz sign-and-trade deals for Miles.

Metta World Peace has started at small forward for the last three seasons for the Lakers, with Matt Barnes serving as his backup for the last two. The Lakers decided against re-signing Barnes, leaving an opening.

Last month, the Lakers signed veteran Antawn Jamison, who can play either forward position, to a one-season deal. They also signed power forward Jordan Hill to a two-year contract to play behind Pau Gasol.

The 25-year-old Miles averaged 8.4 points and 2.2 rebounds in 389 games, including 159 starts, since the Jazz drafted him 34th overall in 2005. He averaged 9.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 56 games (14 starts) last season with Utah.

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Jordan Hill will re-sign with the Lakers

The Lakers took another step toward re-tooling their second unit when they agreed with power forward Jordan Hill on a new contract. The deal reportedly is worth a little less than $8 million over two seasons. “Proud to announce Jordan Hill will be returning to the Lakers next season to join Steve Nash in trying to bring a championship to L.A.,” agent Kevin Bradbury wrote on his Twitter account Friday night. Hill averaged 4.7 points and 4.4 rebounds in seven games after the Lakers acquired him for Derek Fisher last season.

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Report: Dwight Howard now ‘locked in on joining Lakers’

Here’s the late-night report from the website RealGM.com and confirmed by ESPN.com:

“Dwight Howard has long coveted the Brooklyn Nets as his next landing spot, but after a summer filled with daily rumors of four-team trade proposals, the six-time All-Star has moved on from his Big Apple infatuation and is locked in on joining the Los Angeles Lakers, according to sources.

“The Lakers, Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly discussing a three-team trade that would send Howard to the Lakers, Andrew Bynum to the Cavaliers, while the Magic would receive Anderson Varejao and multiple draft picks.

“Howard has always been impressed with the Lakers’ winning tradition and intrigued with the off-court opportunities that come with playing in Los Angeles.

“Questions about Howard’s role with the team, however, became an early concern for the three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Howard has since moved on from those concerns and is confident he will be an integral part of a team that will have a chance to compete immediately for a championship, according to sources.

“The Lakers are reportedly ready to make the trade, but first need assurance from Howard that he will commit to the team long-term. Sources say Howard is “excited” about the opportunity to play for the Lakers and will re-sign with the team when his contract expires at the end of the 2012-13 season.”

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Report: Lakers to sign Antawn Jamison

Here’s the story from the Charlotte Observer:

“LAS VEGAS – The Charlotte Bobcats have lost out on free agent Antawn Jamison, who will sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, the Observer has learned.

“The Bobcats were recruiting free agent Jamison as both a power forward and a veteran mentor to a young team. Jamison was torn between the chance to play for his hometown team or to pursue a championship with what figures to be his last NBA contract.

“The Brooklyn Nets were also in the running for the two-time All-Star who played for
Providence High before starring at North Carolina.

“The Bobcats are still pursuing Kris Humphries and Carl Landry in free-agency, to address the power forward position.”

No comment yet from the Lakers on the story.

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No sense of urgency for Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak as Dwight Howard trade rumors swirl

Tomorrow’s story tonight …

LAS VEGAS — General manager Mitch Kupchak and team vice president Jim Buss sat in section 104 of the Cox Pavilion watching the Lakers lose to the Sacramento Kings 84-72 in a summer league game Saturday.

They talked and watched and talked and watched, casually and easily and without any sense of urgency to their conversation. Every so often, Kupchak checked his phone for messages or to read or write text messages.

The rumor mill was cranked up to full throttle, with the Lakers said to be discussing a trade that would bring center Dwight Howard to Los Angeles from the Orlando Magic. Kupchak and Buss seemed a world away from the chatter, however.

Kupchak declined comment and Buss left his seat with the Lakers trailing 62-57 going into the fourth quarter. Kupchak spent the rest of the game watching the Lakers’ collection of rookies, second-year players and try-outs lose for the second straight day.

Kupchak said he continues attempts to re-sign backup forward Jordan Hill and expects talks on a contract extension for center Andrew Bynum to intensify “sooner rather than later.” Assuming Bynum is still a member of the Lakers, that is.

HoopsWorld.com reported Saturday the Lakers, Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers discussed a multi-player trade. Howard would go to the Lakers, Bynum would go to the Cavaliers and Orlando would receive a package of picks and prospects.

However, no deal was imminent, according to the website.

The Lakers and the Houston Rockets are said to be the front-runners to land Howard, who told the Magic on Friday he wasn’t willing to rescind his trade request and give a still-to-be-named coaching staff a chance.

The Cavaliers would ask that Bynum be signed to a long-term extension before entering into serious discussions about such a three-team trade, according to a Cleveland newspaper.

Kupchak would neither confirm nor deny the talks. He said his immediate priority was to strengthen the Lakers’ bench, which is heavy with guards and thin on forwards at present. Hill’s re-signing appears to be atop Kupchak’s to-do list.

“Absolutely, we need to work on our bench, get a stronger bench,” he said.

Kupchak also said he was in contact with Bynum’s agent, David Lee.

“I talk to his representative more than most representatives,” Kupchak said of Lee. “He’s deeply involved with his clients and he works hard with general managers on behalf of his clients. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had light discussions. …

“We’ll get to it sooner rather than later.”

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Knee injury forces Lakers’ Devin Ebanks to miss summer league

LAS VEGAS — Small forward Devin Ebanks was ruled out of summer league because of a sore knee. He stayed behind at the team’s El Segundo training facility to undergo rehabilitation exercises with athletic trainer Gary Vitti.

Christian Eyenga, who played in only one game for the Lakers after he was acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers with Ramon Sessions last March, started in Ebanks’ spot and scored eight points on 2-for-8 shooting in a 40-point loss Friday to the Warriors.

Two of Eyenga’s points came on a spectacular play in which he soared through the air to rebound a teammate’s missed shot and then threw down a thunderous dunk, one of only a handful of highlights for the Lakers.

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Andrew Goudelock looking forward to learning from Steve Nash

Tomorrow’s story tonight …

LAS VEGAS — The Lakers kicked off summer league play with a 24-second violation, a missed shot, a turnover and soon enough a double-digit deficit in the opening minutes against the Golden State Warriors on Friday at the Cox Pavilion.

The Lakers finished with lots more turnovers, lots more missed shots and a lopsided 90-50 loss as Klay Thompson scored 24 points and Harrison Barnes added 23 for the Warriors, who had no such troubles with their offense.

Andrew Goudelock scored a team-leading 14 points for the Lakers, but made only 5 of 15 shots in 24 minutes, 53 seconds in a reserve role in his summer league debut. Although he was drafted in 2011, he missed out on a summer rite of passage.

Goudelock was one of a number of players who were shortchanged when the NBA lockout forced the cancellation of the annual summer league. Teams play only five games in Las Vegas, but it’s an invaluable experience for young players.

“This is my first time doing this, so I kind of feel like a rookie again,” said Goudelock, who averaged 4.4 points and 0.5 assists in 10.5 minutes in 40 games in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. “I’m still learning a lot. This is really good for me.”

Goudelock could be a good depth player for the Lakers in their backcourt next season. He’s been a shooting guard his entire basketball life, but at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, he lacks the size of a prototypical shooting guard in the NBA.

So, he’s been learning the point guard spot, too.

“They see me as a point guard who can score,” said Goudelock, who made an impression on Lakers coach Mike Brown with his deft shooting touch. “I’ve always been a scorer, but my height doesn’t allow me to be a scorer on this level.”

Goudelock said he was looking forward to mastering the point guard spot, with the help of the newly acquired Steve Nash when training camp opens in the fall. Goudelock admitted he’s not well versed on the pick-and-roll, a Nash specialty.

Goudelock also said he looked forward to adopting Nash’s pass-first philosophy.

“I don’t think I’m a selfish guy, but I’ve never seen a shot I didn’t like,” he said. “It’s a learning process. I’ve been doing one thing my whole life and it’s hard to change it in just a couple of months.”

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Steve Nash signed, sealed and delivered to the Lakers

Tomorrow’s story today …

Steve Nash signed his new three-season, $27-million contract with the Lakers a few minutes past 9 p.m. on Tuesday in the restaurant of a Marina del Rey hotel, just after the NBA’s moratorium on new business was lifted.

The Lakers completed their sign-and-trade deal for Nash with the Phoenix Suns at about 6 a.m. Wednesday, formalizing their swap with a conference call with the league office. Nash politely but firmly declined to participate, citing the early hour.

“I think that’s the general manager’s job,” he told Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak.

By noon, Nash and Kupchak were together again, however, facing a crowd of reporters in the Lakers’ training facility for an introductory news conference in the gymnasium the veteran point guard will soon call his workout home.

“I’d like to welcome a two-time MVP, a thorn in the Lakers’ side for most of the last decade, happy to see him wearing purple-and-gold, Steve Nash,” Kupchak said as the newest member of the Lakers sat beside him, smiling broadly.

After posing for the obligatory photographs with his new No. 10 Lakers jersey, Nash took questions for nearly 40 minutes, most in English but a few in Spanish, too. He apologized that his Spanish wasn’t very good, but it didn’t matter to the questioners.

Nash also thanked the Suns organization for eight great seasons, but he said the chance to come to the Lakers to play for his first NBA championship and the franchise’s league record-tying 17th title was “too good to pass up.”

“It’s a little surreal,” he said of joining the rival Lakers.

The 38-year-old Nash said he and new teammate Kobe Bryant were “two dedicated gym rats,” adding that he couldn’t wait to begin to play with Bryant, power forward Pau Gasol and center Andrew Bynum when training camp begins in the fall.

“It’s a dream come true for a point guard,” he said.

Nash said the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder were the team to beat next season, but then added without the slightest hesitation, “We’ve got a lot of things to work out, but I wouldn’t put anything past us.”

Later, after the reporters left the building, Nash donned his new uniform and posed for photos under a street sign in front of the practice facility.
The name of the street?

Nash, of course.

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Reeves Nelson on Lakers’ summer-league roster

Reeves Nelson, the former UCLA player who was kicked off last season’s team, is on the Lakers’ summer-league team roster. Nelson, a 6-foot-8 forward, spent part of last winter playing with a club team in Lithuania after leaving UCLA.

Other noteworthy members include: Devin Ebanks, Christian Eyenga, Andrew Goudelock, Darius Morris and draft picks Darius Johnson-Odom and Robert Sacre.

The team begins play Friday in Las Vegas.

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Lakers owner Jerry Buss hospitalized

Lakers owner Jerry Buss was hospitalized Monday night for treatment of dehydration, a team spokesman confirmed in an email to reporters Tuesday morning. “In response to media inquires and to dispel rumors and inaccurate reports, we’d like to state that Dr. Buss is in a local hospital where he is being treated for dehydration,” spokesman John Black said in a short statement. “He is recovering and is expected to be released soon.”

The celebrity gossip website TMZ first reported the story.

Buss, 78, was hospitalized with blood clots in his legs last December after extensive travel. In recent years, he has turned over most of the day-to-day operations of the Lakers to son, Jim, who runs the basketball side of the team, and daughter, Jeanie, who handles the business affairs. The elder Buss has owned the team since 1979.

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