Lakers bolster bench by signing Jodie Meeks and re-signing Devin Ebanks

The Lakers took two more steps toward strengthening their lackluster second unit when they signed backup shooting guard Jodie Meeks and re-signed reserve small forward Devin Ebanks on Monday afternoon.

Meeks is expected to serve as Kobe Bryant’s backup and Ebanks will play behind Metta World Peace. Meeks averaged 8.4 points in 66 games, including 50 starts, last season with the Philadelphia 76ers. Ebanks averaged 4.0 points in 24 games, including 12 starts in 2011-12, with the Lakers.

Previously, the Lakers signed forward Antawn Jamison and re-signed forward Jordan Hill. Jamison might end up as a starter if center Dwight Howard’s back isn’t sound enough to allow him to begin the season on time Oct. 30. Howard had season-ending surgery last April and there have been reports he won’t be fit to start the season.

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Dwight Howard deal is approved; Lakers also get Earl Clark, Chris Duhon

There was more to the Lakers’ acquisition of Dwight Howard than first reported. In addition to getting the three-time defensive player of the year from the Orlando Magic, the Lakers also received Chris Duhon and Earl Clark. The Lakers sent forwards Josh McRoberts and Christian Eyenga plus a future protected first-round pick and a protected second-round pick in 2015 to the Magic. Andrew Bynum went to the Philadelphia 76ers.

“We’d like to thank Andrew for all he’s done for the team and the organization,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement emailed to reporters. “Andrew has been with us since we drafted him at 17 years old and over the last seven years we have watched him develop into an All-Star player who has helped the team win two NBA championships. He’s a special talent with a bright future. We appreciate all of his contributions and wish him well for the remainder of his career.”

There will be more from Kupchak plus reaction from Howard at a 5 p.m. (Pacific time) news conference today in El Segundo.

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Lakers’ makeover is complete with addition of Dwight Howard

Tomorrow’s story tonight …

The Lakers completed a stunning summer roster makeover with the addition of center Dwight Howard in a four-team trade Thursday that cost them center Andrew Bynum but enabled them to keep power forward Pau Gasol.

The Orlando Magic sent Howard to the Lakers, who dealt Bynum to the Philadelphia 76ers. Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington went from the Denver Nuggets to the Magic and Andre Iguodala went from Philadelphia to Denver.

Prospects and draft picks also were involved in the swap.

ESPN reported the deal was completed Thursday evening, and a conference call with the four teams and the NBA office was scheduled to approve the trade Friday morning. It also said Howard would not sign a contract extension with the Lakers.

Howard will pursue free agency when eligible next July 1, according to ESPN.

His addition for the 2012-13 season gives the Lakers a formidable starting lineup with him at center, Pau Gasol at power forward, Metta World Peace at small forward, Kobe Bryant at shooting guard and Steve Nash at point guard.

The Lakers acquired Nash in a sign-and-trade deal with the Phoenix Suns last month, giving up only draft picks and an $8.9 million trade exception they received when they dealt Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks last December.

In addition to Nash, the Lakers also signed free agent forward Antawn Jamison to a one-season contract worth about $1 million. The team expects Jamison to serve as a backup to Gasol and World Peace and to bolster its lackluster second unit.

The Lakers’ team policy is to decline comment on any and all trade rumors. General manager Mitch Kupchak is forbidden by league rules from talking about Howard until the trade has been completed and approved by the NBA.

Orlando had been trying to deal Howard since the league’s deadline last March 15, with the Lakers considered the Magic’s strongest trade partner. The Magic looked to clean house and start over without the 6-foot-11, 240-pound Howard.

The Lakers were believed to be willing to trade Bynum or Gasol, but not both.

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Report: Dwight Howard deal is complete

The Lakers have completed a four-team deal that will bring center Dwight Howard to Los Angeles from the Orlando Magic, according to ESPN. The Lakers will give up center Andrew Bynum, who will go to the Philadelphia 76ers, but they will keep power forward Pau Gasol. There’s more to the deal, but this is the part that impacts the Lakers.

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C.J. Miles picks Cavs over Lakers

Scratch C.J. Miles from the Lakers’ wish list. He will sign a two-season contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to a report Friday. The Lakers wanted him as a backup on the wing, either as a small forward or a shooting guard. They also are said to be interested in signing either Leandro Barbosa or Jodie Meeks to fill a backup guard spot. Barbosa played with Steve Nash for a time when they were both with the Phoenix Suns, and still has blazing speed. Meeks has a nice offensive game, but can he play defense?

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