NBA free agency: LaMarcus Aldridge reportedly rules out Lakers

Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge, left, met with the Lakers’ brass when free agency opened Tuesday night. don ryan — the associated press

Portland Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge, left, met with the Lakers’ brass when free agency opened Tuesday night. don ryan — the associated press

Despite issuing a full-court press with a two-hour meeting, the Lakers will not land LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency, according to reports from the Los Angeles Times and Yahoo! Sports.

One league source categorized the reports as “false.” But both detailed Aldridge apparently feeling unimpressed with the Lakers’ presentation, believing that it put too much focus on branding opportunities over both basketball strategy and the team’s rebuilding.

The Lakers brought a full cast to the meeting, most notably Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, coach Byron Scott, general manager Mitch Kupchak, president Jeanie Buss and executive Jim Buss. The Lakers’ meeting also included assistant general manager Glenn Carraro, senior vice president of business operations Tim Harris, team publicist John Black as well as representatives with Time Warner Cable SportsNet and AEG.

Aldridge also met with the Houston Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.

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NBA free agency: Lakers’ meeting with Greg Monroe “more low key” than meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge

NBA free agency: Will the Lakers hit a home run with LaMarcus Aldridge or DeAndre Jordan?

NBA free agency: Kevin Love announces return to Cleveland

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter and on Facebook. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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NBA free agency: Kevin Love announces return to Cleveland

Kevin Love announced in an essay with The Players Tribune that he is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers(Mark Duncan/The Associated Press)

Kevin Love announced in an essay with The Players Tribune that he is returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers(Mark Duncan/The Associated Press)

In the second day of free agency, a marquee player already has become unavailable for the Lakers.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward and former UCLA standout Kevin Love announces his plans to re-sign with the Cavaliers on the Player’s Tribune website.

“I’m going back to Cleveland,” Love wrote in the essay. After Game 1 of the NBA Finals, that’s when it really struck me. Sitting on the sidelines, I never wanted to play in a game more than that one. I had dreamed of playing in the NBA Finals and I just wanted to help my guys win. I couldn’t have been prouder of them as they poured their blood, sweat and tears onto the court.”
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NBA free agency: Lakers’ meeting with Greg Monroe “more low key” than meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge

The Lakers tackled the second day of free agency with aggressiveness and urgency even before it began.

Shortly after a two-hour meeting Tuesday night in Los Angeles with Portland center LaMarcus Aldrridge, various Lakers officials including coach Byron Scott and general manager Mitch Kupchak took a red-eye flight to Washington D.C. so they could visit Detroit center Greg Monroe on Wednesday around noon EST.

The Lakers reported the two-hour meeting with Monroe going well, which also included assistant general manager Glenn Carraro, senior vice president of business operations Tim Harris and team publicist John Black. A source that sat in on the Monroe meeting described it as “more low key” than their visit with Aldridge, though the team left both meetings with positive impressions. Kobe Bryant, James Worthy, president Jeanie Buss, executive Jim Busss and representatives with both Time Warner Cable SportsNet and AEG also participated in the Lakers’ meeting with Aldridge.

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NBA free agency: Lakers reach out to Jeremy Lin

Lakers#17 Jeremy Lin shoots, but can not hit a 3-pointer against Nuggets#3 Ty Lawson and Nuggets#00 Darrell Arthur in the 4th quarter. The Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 106-96 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA February 10, 2015.  (Photos by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers#17 Jeremy Lin shoots, but can not hit a 3-pointer against Nuggets#3 Ty Lawson and Nuggets#00 Darrell Arthur in the 4th quarter. The Denver Nuggets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 106-96 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA February 10, 2015. (Photos by John McCoy / Los Angeles Daily News)

Despite a lone season here filled with frustration over his own inconsistency, a fluctuating role and an unconventional offense, a possible Jeremy Lin partnership with the Lakers is not entirely over.

The Lakers expressed interest in retaining Lin after free agency began on Tuesday night, according to a league source familiar with the situation. Lin also fielded interest from several teams, including Dallas, Memphis, Indiana, Chicago, San Antonio and the Clippers, according to a league source. But before free agency began, both the Lakers and Lin felt lukewarm about a reunion for several reasons.
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NBA free agency: Lakers reach out to Wayne Ellington

Lakers Wayne Ellington scores two points during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, January 3, 2015.  Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers 88-87.  ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News ) "

Lakers Wayne Ellington scores two points during second half action at Staples Center Sunday, January 3, 2015. Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers 88-87. ( Photo by David Crane/Los Angeles Daily News ) “

After experiencing the Lakers’ support through both a significant role and a family tragedy, Wayne Ellington had another reason to feel gracious toward them.

The Lakers contacted Ellington shortly after free agency began on Tuesday evening to express interest in retaining him, according to a league source familiar with the situation. Cleveland, Golden State, Washington, San Antonio and Atlanta also showed interest, a league source said, though Ellington hopes his future rests with the purple and gold. Ellington averaged 10 points on 41.2 percent shooting in 25.8 minutes through 65 games. That bodes similar to the career-highs he posted also under Byron Scott in Cleveland (2012-13) in points (10.4), shooting percentage (43.9) and minutes played (25.9).
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Lakers exercise team option to keep Robert Sacre

Lakers' Pau Gasol, left, Robert Sacre, and Steve Blake, right, in the last few seconds of the game against the Jazz in a NBA Western Conference basketball game at the Staples Center Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Los Angeles, CA.  The Lakers lost 79-96. Los Angeles Lakers versus Utah Jazz. Photo by Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze

The Lakers exercised a team option to keep center Robert Sacre for the 2015-16 season.
Photo by Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze

The Lakers exercised a $981,359 team option to retain center Robert Sacre for the 2015-16 season, according to league source familiar with the situation.

The Lakers did not formally decide until the deadline at midnight on Tuesday. Sacre’s contract now becomes fully guaranteed.
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Lakers express interest in Jimmy Butler, Iman Shumpert

On Tuesday night, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak expressed interest in Bulls forward Jimmy Butler and Cavaliers forward Iman Shumpert, according to a league source.  (Photo by Brad Graverson/Daily Breeze)

On Tuesday night, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak expressed interest in Bulls forward Jimmy Butler and Cavaliers forward Iman Shumpert, according to a league source. (Photo by Brad Graverson/Daily Breeze)

The Lakers’ top free agency priority has entailed securing a marquee frontcourt player. But that has not stopped the Lakers from also looking elsewhere.

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak expressed interest in signing Chicago Bulls small forward Jimmy Butler and Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Iman Shumpert, according to a league source familiar with the situation. The likelihood of the Lakers landing either player seems challenging since both are restricted free agents.
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NBA free agency: Lakers reach out to Ed Davis

"The Lakers’ Ed Davis #21 lays the ball up as the Grizzlies’  Jon Leuer #30 looks on during their NBA game at the Staples Center Friday, January 2, 2015.  The Grizzlies beat the Lakers 109-106. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)"

“The Lakers’ Ed Davis #21 lays the ball up as the Grizzlies’ Jon Leuer #30 looks on during their NBA game at the Staples Center Friday, January 2, 2015. The Grizzlies beat the Lakers 109-106. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)”

The Lakers repeated something to Ed Davis’ representatives on Tuesday night that they have said throughout the course of the 2014-15 season.

The Lakers expressed interest in retaining Davis, according to a league source familiar with the situation. He posted career-highs in scoring (8.3 points a game), field-goal percentage (60.1), rebounding (7.6), blocked shots (1.2) and assists (1.2) in his fifth NBA season. Whether that happens, however, remains in question.

Four other undisclosed teams also expressed interest in Davis, according to a league source. Although it is not clear which teams reached out, it is possible any of them could offer something more than the Lakers can afford. After declining his $1.1 million player option, Davis would like a two or three-year deal worth $7-$8 million or a one-year deal worth $9-10 million.
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NBA free agency: Lakers reach out to Jordan Hill

"Los Angeles Lakers' Jordan Hill smiles before the Lakers' NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)"

“Los Angeles Lakers’ Jordan Hill smiles before the Lakers’ NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)”

Despite declined his team option worth $9 million only a day earlier, the Lakers expressed interest in re-signing Jordan Hill as a free agent, according to a league source familiar with the situation. Hill’s representatives also fielded “several calls” from other interested teams, according to the league source.

By waiving Hill’s team option, the Lakers secured $23 million to spend in free agency. They can also re-sign Hill at a discounted price, though it remains uncertain considering the team’s glut of power forwards in Julius Randle, Ryan Kelly, Tarik Black and Larry Nance Jr. Ed Davis also declined to exercise a player option worth $1.1 million. The Lakers want to retain him, though that might not happen if Davis fields more lucrative offers elsewhere.
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Lakers to include Kobe Bryant & Byron Scott in meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will undergo surgery Wednesday for the torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, but a timetable for his return will not be revealed until after the surgery. (Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press)

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will undergo surgery Wednesday for the torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, but a timetable for his return will not be revealed until after the surgery. (Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press)

The Lakers plan to host a set of heavy hitters for when they meet with Portland center LaMarcus Aldridge at 9:01 p.m. in Los Angeles, which will mark the beginning of free agency.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is expected to sit in on the meeting, according to a league source familiar with his itinerary. He will join Lakers president Jeanie Buss, general manager Mitch Kupchak, executive Jim Buss, coach Byron Scott, assistant general manager Glenn Carraro, senior vice president of business operations Tim Harris, team spokesman John Black, representatives from Time Warner Cable SportsNet and AEG. Former Lakers forward James Worthy, who serves as a studio analyst for Access SportsNet, also plans to attend the meeting.
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