Lakers officially sign Wesley Johnson

The Lakers agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal with Wesley Johnson Rick Bowmer / The Associated Press

The Lakers agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal with Wesley Johnson Rick Bowmer / The Associated Press

The Lakers officially signed Wesley Johnson to a one-year deal worth $1 million.

Johnson averaged 9.1 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting last season, production that featured both impressive performances and disappearing acts. But the Lakers were willing to resign Johnson for reasons including his age (27), athleticism and being a good teammate.

“I’m happy to welcome Wesley back to our team and am excited to see him develop further after taking such great strides last season,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “Wesley possesses elite athleticism, and has the potential to develop into an excellent defender.”

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

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Steve Nash confirms this will be his last NBA season

Steve Nash talks about the disappointing season and his future following his Lakers exit interview at their training facility in El Segundo, CA on Thursday, April 17, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

As he has labored tirelessly through back pain for the last two years, Steve Nash all but confirmed the obvious when looking ahead on what the last year of his $9.7 million with the Lakers will mean for his NBA future.

“I think this is my last season,” said the 40-year-old Nash in a video posted by Sport TV. But I still love to play, practice and work on my game. I’m going to spend hopefully many many years living this life without basketball. It’ll be nice to play one more year.”
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Watch best of Kobe Bryant going one-on-one

The venues, the opponents and the circumstances all change. But Kobe Bryant’s approach toward playing one-on-one doesn’t.

Bryant could play at his basketball camp. Or in China. or an actual NBA game. As the video edited by Max Funke shows above, Bryant will keep the same approach. He will still look either to drive to the basket or post up. Bryant will talk trash, whether chastising a camper for wearing And-1 shorts over Nike gear or bragging to an NBA contemporary that he cannot be stopped. And of course, Bryant will ensure that he wins every time.

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

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Byron Scott says he agrees to terms to be Los Angeles Lakers’ next coach

Byron Scott said he agreed to coach the Lakers next season. AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Byron Scott said he agreed to coach the Lakers next season. AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

The Lakers’ coaching search might have taken an exhausting three months that often took a backseat to the team’s focus on the NBA draft and free agency. But only two days after being offered the job, Byron Scott agreed Saturday night to become the Lakers’ next head coach, according to a league source familiar with the situation.

The Lakers maintained Saturday night that they remained in negotiations with Scott and that the process could still take a few more days before finalizing an agreement. But Scott confirmed to CBS-2/KCAL-9 sports director Jim Hill that he will coach the Lakers next season.

“It feels fantastic,” Scott told Hill. “This is a dream come true. I always wanted to coach the Lakers, especially when I got to coaching. It’s so unreal. I have to thank Mitch (Kupchak), Jeanie (Buss) and Jim Buss to give me this opportunity.”
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Byron Scott, Lakers nearing deal, but is it complete?

Byron Scott has been offered the Lakers head coaching position. As a player, Scott won three NBA titles with the Lakers in the 1980s. chris chambers - getty images

Byron Scott has been offered the Lakers head coaching position. As a player, Scott won three NBA titles with the Lakers in the 1980s. chris chambers – getty images

The Lakers and Byron Scott made progress on Saturday in negotiating a deal that would ensure him as the next head coach. But have they agreed to a deal?

It depends on who you ask. Scott is under the impression that he agreed to a deal with the Lakers on Saturday night to become their next head coach, according to a league source close to him. But the Lakers maintain they are still negotiating and anticipate that reaching a deal could “take a couple of more days,” according to a Lakers official.

It is not immediately clear why there is a discrepancy. But considering the fluid nature of negotiations, clarity should emerge shortly. ESPN Los Angeles first reported that Scott agreed to a four-year, $17 million deal with a team option for the fourth year.

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

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Lakers officially sign Xavier Henry

In this file photo, the Los Angeles Lakers' Xavier Henry celebrates a 3-pointer by Wesley Johnson in the NBA season opener between the Lakers and Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

In this file photo, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Xavier Henry celebrates a 3-pointer by Wesley Johnson in the NBA season opener between the Lakers and Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

The Lakers officially signed Xavier Henry on Friday to a one-year deal worth around $1 million. Henry’s return adds needed depth at the small forward spot after averaging 10 points per game last season with bursts of athleticism and aggressiveness.

Henry is currently recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee and left wrist, injuries that kept him out for a combined 39 games. Henry said last month that he expects to heal by late July.

“Xavier earned a spot on our team last season after being a training camp invitee, and we hope he continues the dedication to improving he has displayed for us thus far,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. “When healthy, Xavier provided our team with an offensive punch, and we expect he’ll strive to add to his skillset and become a well-rounded player.”

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

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Carlos Boozer “absolutely” sees himself as starter for Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers held a press conference to announce the addition of Carlos Boozer to the team Friday, July 25, 2014, El Segundo, CA. Photo by Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze

The Los Angeles Lakers held a press conference to announce the addition of Carlos Boozer to the team Friday, July 25, 2014, El Segundo, CA. Photo by Steve McCrank/Daily Breeze

It took exactly one word and a few seconds to establish how Carlos Boozer views his role with the Lakers amid a flooded backcourt. He said he “absolutely” sees himself as a starter after the Lakers acquired him shortly after the Chicago Bulls waived him through the amnesty provision. Boozer, 32, also described himself as a “spring chicken” entering his 13th NBA season.

“My body feels great,” Boozer said Friday at the his introductory press conference at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “I’m looking forward toward getting back out there. I don’t know how long I’m going to play, maybe four, five, six more years, maybe seven. Well see and go from there.”
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Atlanta Dream expects Michael Cooper to make complete recovery from tongue cancer

Former Laker Michael Cooper had a procedure on Thursday to treat an early detection of tongue cancer and doctors expect a complete recovery, according to the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.

Cooper, who helped the Showtime Lakers to five NBA championships, took a leave of absence this week from his head-coaching position with the Dream. Initially, the Dream estimated Cooper would recover in two weeks, while assistant Karleen Thompson overtook coaching duties. On Friday, the Dream said in a statement that Cooper will “be back coaching soon,” but did not provide any specifics.

Cooper has guided Atlanta to an Eastern Conference best 15-6 record in his first season. He also coached the Los Angeles Sparks to two WNBA championships (2001, 2002). Cooper left his second stint with the Sparks to coach the USC’s women’s basketball team. But he resigned in March after finishing 11-20, his first losing record in four seasons.

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

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Lakers, Byron Scott enter negotiating stages

The Lakers have offered Byron Scott the head-coaching position, advancing a three-month search into the early stages of the negotiating process, according to a league source familiar with the situation.

There is a hope that Scott agrees to a deal with the Lakers soon, but it is unclear if that timetable will be finalized in a day, a few days or more. It is not clear what kind of contract the Lakers will offer, and what kind of terms Scott will feel comfortable with in his fourth NBA head-coaching stint. The Lakers offered Scott the position late Thursday night, according to the source.

Scott has been considered the Lakers’ favored candidate by virtue of having three formal interviews with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive Jim Buss. But the Lakers have held off on hiring a coach since Mike D’Antoni resigned on April 30 for a number of reasons.
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Jeremy Lin eager to learn from Kobe Bryant

Lakers introduce newest player Jeremy Lin to the gathered media at the Toyota Sports Center training facility in El Segundo. Photo by Brad Graverson/The Daily Breeze/ 07/24/14

Lakers introduce newest player Jeremy Lin to the gathered media at the Toyota Sports Center training facility in El Segundo. Photo by Brad Graverson/The Daily Breeze/ 07/24/14

It took a while at first for Kobe Bryant to know about Jeremy Lin. He experienced a circuitous journey toiling in the Development League, while both Golden State and Houston waived him. Even on the cusp of “Linsanity” in which the first American-born NBA player of Taiwanese descent took the New York Knicks by storm, Bryant still professed ignorance about him.

A day later, Lin helped the New York Knicks carve up the Lakers with a career-high 38 points, a topic he said he has addressed at least 500 times in a recent visit to Taiwan shortly after the Lakers acquired him in a trade from Houston. Perhaps that is why Bryant hardly wasted anytime connecting with Lin despite remaining in different time zones.

“One thing he told me was we have a lot of work to do and that’s 100 percent accurate,” Lin said Thursday at an introductory press conference at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo. “As long as we come in with that mindset of coming to work and understanding that we have to earn everything, I think we’ll be okay.”

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