Xavier Henry still rehabbing right knee

Lakers forward Xavier Henry isn't expected to be ready for training camp.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

Lakers forward Xavier Henry isn’t expected to be ready for training camp. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News)

The season has not even started, and the Lakers already have injuries to monitor.

Lakers forward Xavier Henry will not be ready to practice once training camp starts on Tuesday, according to the team, because he has not fully rehabbed his right knee after having surgery on it in mid-April. The Lakers say Henry’s left wrist has fully healed since having surgery on it during the same time period.

Though the Lakers do not have a current timetable on when Henry could practice, he is currently limited toward running on a weight-bearing treadmill.

In an interview with this newspaper earlier this month, Lakers coach Byron Scott reported the likelihood Henry would not be fully healthy once training camp starts. It wasn’t clear at the time, however, the specifics surrounding Henry’s progress.

The Lakers resigned Henry this offseason to a one-year deal at around $1 million after averaging a career-high 10 points despite appearing in only 43 games because of his wrist and knee injuries. Henry will likely compete for playing time with Wesley Johnson and Nick Young at small forward, and Jordan Clarkson and Wayne Ellington at shooting guard.

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Byron Scott says Xavier Henry not fully recovered from injuries

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Mitch Kupchak believes Lakers will still attract top free agents

At a time when winning an NBA championship represented a normal season, the Lakers fulfilled their permanent mission statement through a pretty simple approach. With Los Angeles forever captivated with star power, the Lakers acquired plenty of superstars to satisfy that fix.

But the same organization that once showcased Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West and Shaquille O’Neal could not entice the NBA’s current marquee stars to join the Lakers’ storied history. The Lakers pursued LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony this offseason only to see James return to Cleveland and Anthony to stay in New York.

“We never felt it was realistic to think we would get one or two,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak recalled Friday at the Lakers’ practice facility in El Segundo. “But if you don’t try, you don’t know. We went all out to pursue both of the people you’re talking about.”
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Mitch Kupchak exudes optimism on championship aspirations, Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash

At the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, general manager Mitch Kupchak talks Friday about the upcoming season. (Scott Varley/Staff Photographer)

At the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, general manager Mitch Kupchak talks Friday about the upcoming season. (Scott Varley/Staff Photographer)

The Lakers’ championship trophies still sit in the office of president Jeanie Buss. The Lakers’ title banners and retired jerseys still hang along the walls that oversee the Lakers’ practice court. Despite that backdrop, however, the Lakers’ storied history has become muddled with some sobering reality.

The Lakers are a season removed from finishing with a 25-57 record, their worst season in L.A. franchise history. The Lakers struck out this offseason in pursuing high-level free agents LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The injury bug severely affected Kobe Bryant (left Achilles tendon, left knee) and Steve Nash (nerve irritation in back/hamstrings). The Lakers ranked near the bottom in almost every defensive category.

Yet on Friday, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak outlined the tone the team will take as it opens up training camp next week.

“Our message to the organization and to the players is you’re always going into the season expecting to win a championship,” Kupchak said. “That’s how we feel and that’s how our players have to feel. They have to do their job, coaches have to do their job and I have to do my job.”
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Jeremy Lin’s photogallery of autograph signing

"New Los Angeles Lakers player Jeremy Lin signs autographs for fans at a shoe store in Culver City, CA on Thursday, September 25, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze) "

“New Los Angeles Lakers player Jeremy Lin signs autographs for fans at a shoe store in Culver City, CA on Thursday, September 25, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze) “

You read about Lakers guard Jeremy Lin wanting to become a complete player. You read about Lin providing positive reports on Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash after playing a handful of pickup games with them this offseason. You read about Lin using his time off from an extensive training and travel schedule to make goofy videos.

But pictures always tell a 1,000 words. And in the case of LANG’s photo gallery of Lin’s appearance at the Foot Locker at Westfield Mall in Culver City on Thursday, plenty of images tell various stories.

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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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Jeremy Lin makes video parodies to unwind

New Laker Jeremy Lin talks about the upcoming season before signing autographs for fans at a shoe store in Culver City. SCOTT VARLEY — STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

New Laker Jeremy Lin talks about the upcoming season before signing autographs for fans at a shoe store in Culver City. SCOTT VARLEY — STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The same man who devotes most of his day toward training spends his free time brainstorming video parody ideas. The same man who showed utmost seriousness toward completing his Harvard education also has a goofy side. The same man who has become a devout Christian also shows his humanity in another way.

Underneath Lin’s quest for self-improvement, the Lakers’ 26-year-old guard also strives to show off his quirky sense of humor. So once he finishes his training each day around 3 to 4 p.m., Lin carves out part of his schedule to create the next Youtube sensation.

Just this summer, Lin released a video mocking how he has suddenly gone “Hollywood” after the Lakers acquired him in a trade from the Houston Rockets, as well as one hilariously advising how to receive admissions into Harvard. Lin posted on Instagram a video that showed him shoving pie at his mom on her birthday and his mom paying him back shortly after. Lin also reported he has since paid her back for her retribution. Lin also recorded a dunk cam that entailed posterizing on random fans and his mom.

“It’s not like we’re bored everyday. It’s been a busy summer,” Lin said Thursday at the Foot Locker in Westfield Mall at Culver City, both to promote his Adidas shoes and sign autographs for fans. “We just try to find time to make it relaxing. Basketball is important and training is important, but there are ways to unwind. One of the ways for me is to make funny videos and have fun with it all.”
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Jeremy Lin gushes about health of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash

"New Los Angeles Lakers player Jeremy Lin talks about the upcoming season before signing autographs for fans at a shoe store in Culver City, CA on Thursday, September 25, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze) "

“New Los Angeles Lakers player Jeremy Lin talks about the upcoming season before signing autographs for fans at a shoe store in Culver City, CA on Thursday, September 25, 2014. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze) “

The extensive resumes that leave little doubt both Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash will eventually find their name plastered inside the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Yet, both Bryant and Nash enter the 2014-15 season with plenty to prove toward a skeptical general public.

The unanswered and pressing question: can Bryant and Nash both play effectively and stay healthy after staying ravaged last season by injuries? No one, including Bryant and Nash, know for sure. But they have provided enough signs this offseason to leave the Lakers cautiously optimistic about their durability.

“They both look really good and really healthy,” Lakers guard Jeremy Lin said Thursday at the Foot Locker in Westfield Mall at Culver City, both to promote his Adidas shoes and sign autographs for fans. That’s the biggest thing for us. Health is going to be a huge factor for us this upcoming season. They were moving well and looked much better than they did last year.”
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Kobe Bryant to participate in UnitedWay Homewalk

Kobe Bryant will soon embark on a challenge that is far more pressing than trying to prove he can morph back into an elite player following two major injuries.

The Lakers’ star will participate in the United Way’s Homewalk on Nov. 15 at Exposition Park as part of his ongoing effort to raise funds and awareness for reducing homelessness. Participants can join a 5k walk or run for a $20 registration fee.

Bryant and his wife Vanessa, launched their self-named foundation in the summer of 2011, which has included various initiatives in eradicating homelessness. They began began sponsoring My Friend’s Place, a nonprofit resource center on Hollywood Boulevard that offers free emergency services to homeless youth. Two years ago, Bryant visited the L.A. Mission and spent a night on skid row. He also hosted an event in Hollywood where he met with former U.S. president Bill Clinton, who heads the Clinton Global Initiative.

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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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Lakers depth chart breakdown: Jeremy Lin

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″

Below is the eighth in a series previewing the story lines surrounding each player on the Lakers’ roster for the 2014-15 season. This post focuses on Lakers guard Jeremy Lin.

1. Will Lin start at point guard?
It would seem unthinkable two years ago to debate whether Steve Nash remains worthy of keeping his starting point guard spot. He has already etched a Hall of Fame resume that entails two regular-season MVP awards, a third-place standing on the NBA’s all time assists list and arguably the best point guard of this past generation. But after missing a combined 99 games the past two seasons through injuries to his left leg, back and hamstrings, Nash enters the 2014-15 season without much certainty on whether his improved health will prove enough to survive an 82-game season. Such issues could either prompt the Lakers to keep Nash as a starter just to ensure he stays fresh after warm ups or feature him as a reserve to minimize adjustments should he suffer another injury.

Meanwhile, Lin joins the Lakers eager to seek stability in an NBA career that took off with “Linsanity” in New York and plateaued the past two seasons with Houston amid evolving roles. Still, Lin offered plenty of positive signs in Houston. He posted career-highs last season in field-goal percentage from the field (44.6 percent), from three-point range (35.8 percent) and from the foul line (82.3 percent). Lin’s turnovers dropped to 2.5 per game after averaging 3.6 with the Knicks. According to ESPN, Lin shot 57.8 percent off drives last season, a mark that only trailed LeBron James (63.8 percent).

Will all those areas become enough for Lin to start at point guard? As of now, Lakers coach Byron Scott is favoring Nash. But that could easily change within the next month for reasons including Nash’s health and Lin’s talent level.
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Lakers sign Ronnie Price

The Lakers’ roster is nearly complete.

They signed nine-year veteran NBA guard Ronnie Price, the team announced on Wednesday, bringing its roster total to 19 players. All NBA teams can hold a maximum of 20 players for training camp.

The 31-year-old Price has had stints with the Sacramento Kings (2005-07), Utah Jazz (2007-12), Portland Trail Blazers (2012-13) and Orlando Magic (2013-14), averaging 3.4 points, 1.5 assists and 1.1 rebounds through 425 games.


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Lakers depth chart breakdown: Julius Randle

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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Lakers depth chart breakdown: Julius Randle

Lakers' top draft pick Julius Randle said he can't wait to become a teammate of Kobe Bryant. (Brad Graverson / Staff Photographer)

Lakers’ top draft pick Julius Randle said he can’t wait to become a teammate of Kobe Bryant. (Brad Graverson / Staff Photographer)

Below is the seventh in a series previewing the story lines surrounding each player on the Lakers’ roster for the 2014-15 season. This post focuses on Lakers forward Julius Randle.

1. Will Julius Randle climb up the Lakers’ pecking order?
The Lakers may have taken a significant step with their rebuilding process by drafting Randle. But it does not appear the Lakers are giving him the keys to the Ferrari just yet. Lakers coach Byron Scott said three weeks ago that he is leaning toward starting Carlos Boozer at power forward over Randle because of Boozer’s experience as a 12-year NBA veteran.

Scott’s current preference could help him garner support among his most experienced players. But Scott’s pecking order might also provide a carrot for the younger ones, including Randle, to work harder to prove their coach wrong. Randle demonstrated his thirst for self-improvement, both in his lone season at University of Kentucky and at his introductory press conference with the Lakers. But how much and how quickly will that carry over into the NBA?
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