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Financial options for Lakers and the injured Steve Nash

Though it wasn't entirely unexpected, the Lakers announced the disappointing news that Steve Nash will miss the final year on his contract due to a recurring back injury.

The Lakers have a number of financial options regarding the injured Nash and his $9.7-million contract.

1. Nash may retire before the end of the season, although he needs a physician to sign off on the fact that he's retiring for medical reasons. A player can retire at any point, forgoing his salary, but Nash isn't going to walk away from nearly $10 million.

If he retires for medical reasons, he'll still receive his money while his salary will come off the Lakers' books a year after his last game played, which would be on Apr. 8, 2015. Had Nash played fewer than 10 games last season, medical retirement (once it was approved by the league) would have removed his salary immediately.

The Lakers could have in the neighborhood of $3 million in cap space if Nash does retire, but in April there may not be anyone worthwhile...

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Lakers' Steve Nash to be sidelined for season because of back problems

Steve Nash’s tenure with the Lakers has ended before the third and final year of his contract with them.

He will be declared out by the team for the entire season because of recurring nerve damage in his back. The $9.7 million he was slated to make still counts toward the Lakers salary cap this season.

Nash, who turns 41 in February, played in only 15 games last season. He has been injury-prone since his second game with the Lakers, when he sustained a broken bone in his lower leg after an in-game collision in October 2012.

He initially signed a three-year, $28-million contract with the Lakers in a trade with Phoenix that cost them two first-round picks and two second-round picks.

The Lakers still have three point guards on their roster -- Jeremy Lin, rookie Jordan Clarkson and veteran Ronnie Price, who has a non-guaranteed contract.

Nash was able to make it through only one full game this exhibition season, totaling 11 points and five assists in the Lakers opener against Denver. He...

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Magic Johnson suggests Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin should start

Jeremy Lin has been one of the Lakers' best players during the preseason, averaging 10.8 points and 6.0 assists through four games.

Coming off the bench, Lin helped the Lakers overtake the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, 94-86, while scoring 13 points and dishing five assists.

During the game, Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson tweeted, "Jeremy Lin is going to be a good starting PG for the Lakers w/ his ability to get in the lane and create shots for himself

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Jeanie Buss calls free agents afraid to play with Kobe Bryant 'losers'

Jeanie Buss had a very clear take on players unwilling to join the Lakers because they fear Kobe Bryant.

"Any free agent that would be afraid to play with Kobe Bryant is probably a loser," said Buss on Thursday to ESPN's "SportsCenter."

"I'm glad they wouldn't come to the team."

Bryant was the subject of an inflammatory ESPN.com article that posited that the team's 36-year-old All-Star was to blame for the team's recent struggles.

The article, quoting anonymous sources, claimed Bryant had alienated potential free agents and teammates.

"I read the story. I don't agree with any of it," said Buss, who vowed to root out anyone within the Lakers organization who might have made those allegations to ESPN.

Dwight Howard was the Lakers' biggest free-agent loss, choosing to go to the Houston Rockets instead of re-signing.

The Lakers had cap room for the first time since 1996 this summer. The team pursued LeBron James, but he chose to return to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers.

Carmelo Anthony,...

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Five takeaways from the Lakers' preseason win over Trail Blazers

A lot was missing from the Lakers’ 94-86 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers — seemingly both teams’ key starters, to begin with. But here are five takeaways from Wednesday’s exhibition with only one more left until Tuesday’s opener against Houston.

1. With Kobe Bryant sitting out so he could rest, Julius Randle finally looked like the seventh pick in the draft. In a good way. He had 17 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes, and excited the crowd with his numerous coast-to-coast drives.

2. It’s only a matter of time — and full health? — before Jeremy Lin takes over as the Lakers’ starting point guard. He came off the bench and had 13 points and five assists while starter Ronnie Price had eight and three in almost the same number of minutes. Lin, though, had six turnovers. Maybe the two ankle sprains he’s suffered the last two weeks are still bothering him.

3. The Lakers’ other rookie, Jordan Clarkson, didn’t have quite the same impact as Randle but he did beat Allen Crabbe on a...

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Kobe Bryant will sit out Lakers' final two exhibition games

Kobe Bryant will sit out the Lakers' final two exhibition games for rest reasons, a team spokesman said Wednesday.

The Lakers play Wednesday against Portland in Ontario and Friday against Sacramento in Las Vegas.

Bryant, who played only six games last season, finished exhibition play with averages of 19 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 26.7 minutes. Also of note: Bryant shot only 39.6% over the six games as the Lakers went 2-4.

He gradually increased his playing time and also his aggressiveness around the basket, topping it off with 27 points in 34 minutes Tuesday in the Lakers' 114-108 overtime loss to Phoenix. He made 10 of 20 shots in that game, with two assists and five turnovers.

The Lakers begin the regular season next Tuesday against Houston at Staples Center.

Starting center Jordan Hill has been bothered by a strained neck and also might sit Wednesday's game. Rookie point guard Jordan Clarkson is expected to play after sitting out more than a week because of a...

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