Lakers win highest bid for Carlos Boozer

Chicago Bulls' Carlos Boozer, right, goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Lakers' Ryan Kelly (4), during the second quarter of an NBA bask

Chicago Bulls’ Carlos Boozer, right, goes up for a shot against Los Angeles Lakers’ Ryan Kelly (4), during the second quarter of an NBA bask

The Lakers submitted the winning bid to pick up former Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, according to a league source familiar with the situation.

The Bulls waived Boozer this week through the so-called amnesty provision, which requires the team to still owe his $16.8 million left on his remaining contract albeit without the money costing against the team’s salary cap. The Lakers’ bid price, which has not been reported at this time, offsets the balance that the Bulls still owe the 12-year NBA veteran.

Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds through 76 appearances with the Bulls, but he faced reduced playing time amid concerns about his defense. The Lakers currently have nine players under contract, including Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre, Jeremy Lin, Julius Randle, Nick Young, Ed Davis, Jordan Hill and Boozer. The Lakers also have non-guaranteed deals to Kendall Marshall and Jordan Clarkson, both of whom are expected to stay on the roster.

This move appears appealing for the Lakers both because of Boozer’s potential and his expiring contract. The NBA’s current labor deal prohibits players picked up through an amnesty claim, such as Boozer, to be traded at any point during the season.

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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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Metta World Peace oozes optimism about Lakers, Kobe Bryant, playing future

A looming presence marched his way down the red carpet on Wednesday before the 2014 ESPY awards in downtown Los Angeles. A familiar voice shouted into microphones and tape recorders as he bounced from one reporter to the next.

Yes, Metta World Peace was back in Los Angeles, eager to share a litany of laughs. So, of course, that entailed offering this outlandish explanation for why the Lakers ended last season with a 27-55 record, the worst mark in L.A. franchise history.

“They took a break. Sometimes you have to go to sleep and take a break,” World Peace said. “They’re like a sleeping bear. They’ll wake up out of hibernation and then get back on top.”
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Julius Randle passes test on Kobe Bryant trivia

Julius Randle encountered a test arguably just as challenging as adapting to the NBA or handling Kobe Bryant’s demanding expectations.

The Lakers’ rookie had to prove on NBA TV’s “The Starters” that he knew his Bryant trivia after professing himself as a Kobe fan growing up. It may not be challenging to answer whom the Lakers traded for to acquire Bryant’s rights from Charlotte in 1996 (Vlade Divac). Or the origin of Kobe’s name (a Japanese steakhouse). Or when Kobe won the NBA Dunk Contest (his rookie season).

But any slip up might reveal Randle’s expertise on all things Black Mamba may not be as sharp as he professes, leading both Bryant and a legion of supporters giving him a collective death stare. For Randle’s sake, however, he passed the test.

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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 agree to two-year deal with free agent forward Ed Davis

The Lakers continued filling out their roster by agreeing with free agent forward Ed Davis to a two-year deal worth $2 million, according to a Yahoo! Sports sports. The story mentions Davis’ second year on his contract is a player option.

Davis will likely backup Lakers rookie Julius Randle at power forward. Davis has averaged 6.9 points and 5.9 rebounds in 20.8 minutes per game with the Toronto Raptors (2010-12) and Memphis Grizzlies (2012-14).

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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’s third interview with Lakers ends without offer

Has a long history with the Lakers, playing for them for 10 consecutive seasons (1983-93) and winning three NBA titles. After retiring form professional basketball in 1998, Scott began his coaching career as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings. He has been a head coach with New Jersey (2000-04), New Orleans (2004-09) and Cleveland (2010-13). He has an overall record of 416-521 (.444) and went 33-24 (.579) in the playoffs. Turned 53 in March. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Has a long history with the Lakers, playing for them for 10 consecutive seasons (1983-93) and winning three NBA titles. After retiring form professional basketball in 1998, Scott began his coaching career as an assistant with the Sacramento Kings. He has been a head coach with New Jersey (2000-04), New Orleans (2004-09) and Cleveland (2010-13). He has an overall record of 416-521 (.444) and went 33-24 (.579) in the playoffs. Turned 53 in March. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Byron Scott’s 3 1/2 hour interview on Wednesday with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive Jim Buss involved plenty of detail surrounding the team’s assembled roster since free agency began over two weeks ago. But the meeting at an undisclosed location ended without an offer, according to a league source familiar with the situation.

The Lakers indicated they still planned to fill out the rest of the roster that currently features Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre, Julius Randle, Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, Jordan Hill, Kendall Marshall and Jordan Clarkson. But the Lakers did not indicate how long that process would take or if Scott would need to come in for what would mark his fourth interview, said the league source.

This week, the Lakers expected to make their hire within the next one or two weeks. But a league source familiar with the team’s thought process also added that the hiring “could happen within a couple of days.” The Lakers have also interviewed Mike Dunleavy, Lionel Hollins, Kurt Rambis and Alvin Gentry, but Dunelavy remains the lone candidate already interviewed without a job. Hollins accepted the Brooklyn Nets job after Jason Kidd hastily left for the Milwaukee Bucks. Gentry and Rambis took assistant coaching gigs with Golden State and New York, respectively. Veteran NBA coach George Karl also talked informally with Kupchak, but he has not had a formal interview.

Scott has been considered the heavy favorite ever since the Lakers coaching search started after Mike D’Antoni reisgned on April 30. Scott is believed to be the only candidate who has had multiple interviews. Kobe Bryant recently voiced his approval. Scott also appears to be favored among the Lakers’ fan base considering his experience playing for the Lakers during the Showtime Era.

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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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Nick Young reports Kobe Bryant already on him about preparing for next season

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 15: Professional basketball player Nick Young attends the Body at ESPYS Pre-Party at Lure on July 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ESPN) Photo Credit - Getty Images for ESPN

HOLLYWOOD, CA – JULY 15: Professional basketball player Nick Young attends the Body at ESPYS Pre-Party at Lure on July 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for ESPN)
Photo Credit – Getty Images for ESPN

A sense of joy and relief filled Nick Young’s emotions as he processed the Lakers securing him to a four-year, $21.5 million deal. The joy entailed basking in relative riches after his gamble to opt out of his $1.2 million player option paid off in securing a longer and more lucrative contract with the Lakers. The relief reflected Young’s uncertainty on whether the Lakers would keep him amid their hope to maintain financial flexibility and their continuous pursuit of Carmelo Anthony.

“I thought, ‘Maybe I might end up being somewhere else,” Young told this newspaper Tuesday night at Lure Nightclub, which hosted an ESPN-sponsored red carpet event commemorating its recent Body issue. “I knew if Melo signed here, I would pretty much have to go somewhere else.”

Before Young could become too giddy about staying in his hometown, he received an important phone call from Kobe Bryant. The message went beyond congratulating Young, a former Cleveland Reseda High and USC standout, on staying in his hometown.

“He was the first person to call me. He was telling me to get in the gym and work hard,” Young recalled. “They’re already counting us out.”

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Lakers to interview Byron Scott on Wednesday

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 19:  during the game on December 19, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 19: during the game on December 19, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

After keeping focus both on the NBA draft and free agency, the Lakers will shift back to their coaching search that has already lasted nearly three months. Byron Scott will meet with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive Jim Buss on Wednesday, according to a league source familiar with the situation. This will mark his third formal interview Scott will have with the Lakers since the coaching search started after Mike D’Antoni resigned on April 30.

Scott is expected to talk to the Lakers’ brass about the team’s personnel in the wake of a flurry of free agent moves. It is not expected Scott will field an offer at this specific offer and dive into contract negotiations. After missing out on both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers acquired Jeremy Lin and a 2015 first and second round draft pick from the Houston Rockets for the rights of overseas player Sergei Lishchuk. The Lakers lost out on Pau Gasol, but they kept Nick Young (four years, $21.5 million) and Jordan Hill (two years, $18 million).

The Lakers are expected to hire their coach within the next one to two weeks, according to a league source familiar with the situation. But the source also added the hiring “could happen within a couple of days.” The Lakers plan to have follow-up interviews, though it remains unclear if they would go beyond talking to Scott again.
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Lakers put varying priorities on Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson

Photo: Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News

Photo: Keith Birmingham Pasadena Star-News

Most of the Lakers’ offseason work appears complete. Almost. They still have not hired a head coach. They also have around four or five spots to fill out the rest of the roster.

So how will all of this play out?

The Lakers expect to name a head coach within the next week or two. But the Lakers will likely fill out their roster beforehand. That leaves the Lakers’ remaining free agents in Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson in varying states of limbo.

The Lakers expect to re-sign Kelly soon. They also like Henry, but it does not appear any deal is imminent. And the Lakers remain mixed on Johnson, who is not considered a priority.

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Timetable on Lakers’ coaching search remains unclear

LA Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak will be the leader of the Lakers’ search for a new coach.. (File photo by Brad Graverson/The Daily Breeze)

LA Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak will be the leader of the Lakers’ search for a new coach.. (File photo by Brad Graverson/The Daily Breeze)

Although the Lakers expect to hire a coach within the next week or two, a league source familiar with the situation said the hiring “could happen within a couple of days.”

Before that happens though, the Lakers plan to have followup interviews with candidates they have already interviewed. That pool has narrowed, though. The Lakers have contacted Byron Scott, Mike Dunleavy, Kurt Rambis, Alvin Gentry, Lionel Hollins and George Karl since Mike D’Antoni resigned on April 30. But several candidates have dropped out by virtue of other jobs, including Hollins (Brooklyn Nets’ head coach), Gentry (Golden State Warriors associate coach) and Rambis (New York Knicks assistant coach).

Scott has been considered the favored candidate after having two interviews and informal discussions with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak and executive Jim Buss. Dunleavy had a formal interview only with Kupchak. And Karl had an informal phone conversation with Kupchak. It is “possible” the Lakers will have interviews with other candidates, according to a league source, but it is not definitive.
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Lakers insist they were unwilling to give Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki max-level offer

With the Lakers trying to canvas every scenario into bolstering their team, it appears plausible that Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki represented one of the many free agents they inquired about in the past two weeks.

But a Lakers official disputed ESPN report that indicated the team tried to entice Nowitkzki to leave Dallas for max-level money. The report said that Nowitzki refused to enter negotiations with the Houston Rockets or Lakers. But a Lakers source familiar with the situation said the team would have never offered a max-level offer to Nowitzki considering they planned to set that money aside both to pursue LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.
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