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Kobe Bryant belts a lefty home run in Seattle charity softball game

Although he's right-handed, Kobe Bryant belted a home run left-handed Sunday during Richard Sherman's celebrity softball game at Safeco Field in Seattle. The Lakers' All-Star guard isn't likely to retire from basketball to pursue America's national pastime as Michael Jordan once did, but he showed once again he's a gifted multi-sport athlete. The event, hosted by the Seattle Seahawks cornerback, featured a number of Sherman's teammates (Russell Wilson, Doug Baldwin and others) and current or past NBA players including Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford, Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton and Bryant. After the game, Bryant gave credit to former NFL player Lawyer Milloy for his batting success. "The only reason I hit that homer is because of @LawyerMilloy no doubt about it! #coaching #philwho #thankU," Bryant tweeted. Coming off a down season after sitting out all but six games because of Achilles' tendon and knee injuries, Bryant recently declared himself fully healed and ready for the 2014-15 season. ...

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After signing Young, Kelly, Lakers have climbed over NBA's salary cap

In signing Nick Young and Ryan Kelly on Monday, the Lakers climbed over the NBA's $63.1-million salary cap. Young is back on a four-year, $21.3-million contract with a player option on the final season.  Kelly received a two-year contract for $3.4 million. The Lakers can once again make him a restricted free agent in 2016. The Lakers used $1.65 million of their $2.73 million "room exception" on Kelly, leaving $1.08 million still available to spend in free agency -- although that amount remaining is actually less than a minimum salary for a veteran with at least six years of experience. The organization currently has $55.4 million in official salaries for eight players (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Julius Randle, Robert Sacre, Young and Kelly).  The Lakers have also agreed to re-sign Jordan Hill to a two-year, $18-million contract (second season team option) along with forwards Ed Davis, Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry, each at a minimum salary. Even unsigned,...

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Ryan Kelly officially re-signs with Lakers

The Lakers officially signed second-year forward Ryan Kelly to a two-year contract on Monday. The team had made Kelly a restricted free agent with a $1-million qualifying offer. Kelly will receive $1.65 million for the coming season and $1.72 million for 2015-16. Both years are fully guaranteed for a total of $3.37 million. The Lakers appear to have used part of their $2.7 million room exception on Kelly, leaving $1.08 million to spend on free agency. "When we extended a qualifying offer to Ryan in June, we fully expected him to be a part of our future,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak said in a news release issued by the Lakers. “Ryan did everything we asked of him as a rookie and showed great promise and potential. After rehabbing an injury last summer, he will have the benefit of a full off-season regimen and training camp for the first time in his NBA career, and we anticipate further development as a result." Kelly was drafted by the Lakers in 2013 with the 48th overall pick.  After...

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Nick Young officially re-signs with Lakers

On Monday, the Lakers officially re-signed free agent guard/forward Nick Young to a four-year, $21.32 million contract.  "When Nick became a free agent in June, I expressed hope that we would be able to bring him back on a contract that was in the best interest of both the Lakers and himself, and I am proud to say we were able to do so,” said General Manager Kupchak. “Nick was a bright spot for us last season, and we are happy to retain such a skilled player who is committed to being a part of what we are building as a franchise." Young signed with the Lakers last summer as a free agent, taking a minimum contract. He will earn $4.99 million for the upcoming year and can opt out of the contract before the 2017-18 season. Through 64 appearances, Young averaged 17.9 points a game while shooting 43.5% from the field and 38.6% from three-point range. With Young signing, the Lakers should be down to just $507,336 in cap room, enough to sign draft pick Jordan Clarkson (46th overall pick) to a...

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Lakers' week in review

The Lakers fleshed out their roster for the 2014-15 season over the last week, notably with the acquisition of veteran forward Carlos Boozer. The Chicago Bulls let Boozer go via their one-time amnesty provision, clearing his money from their salary cap while still on the hook for his actual $16.8-million salary. Through the amnesty waivers process, the Lakers were able to make a successful $3.25-million bid in Boozer's contract, reducing the Bulls' obligation to $13.55 million. The Lakers will not be permitted to trade Boozer; his contract expires at the end of June. The franchise also came to terms with free agent forward Ed Davis, while agreeing to re-sign a trio of forwards in Wesley Johnson, Xavier Henry and Ryan Kelly. The Lakers' roster is suddenly loaded in the front court, with six power forwards and/or centers with rookie Julius Randle, Robert Sacre, Boozer, Kelly, Davis and Jordan Hill, who previously agreed to return but has yet to sign his contract. A casualty of the salary...

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Former Lakers star Michael Cooper is diagnosed with tongue cancer

Former Lakers star Michael Cooper has been diagnosed with early-stage tongue cancer and will take a leave of absence from his duties as coach of the WNBA team in Atlanta. Cooper is expected to recover fully after surgery this week at Emory University. "I know I'm in good hands," he said in a statement released by the Atlanta Dream. "I'm fortunate that my condition was diagnosed early." Known as a tough defender, Cooper won five NBA titles with the Lakers through the 1980s. He served two stints as coach of the Sparks -- guiding the team to two championships -- and also coached the USC women's team. The Dream announced that assistant Karleen Thompson will fill in while Cooper is out. "I know the team will be in good hands with Coach Thompson at the helm during my absence, and I look forward to returning to the court soon," Cooper said.

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Kendall Marshall is claimed off waivers by Milwaukee Bucks

If the Lakers were hoping to re-sign Kendall Marshall after waiving him on Friday -- they won't have that chance. The Milwaukee Bucks claimed the third-year point guard, picking up his $915,243 salary for the season. The Lakers needed to let Marshall go in order to maximize their cap space to fulfill promises to re-sign Nick Young and Jordan Hill. Once a player is placed on waivers, teams have 48 hours to claim their services.  The Bucks, by virtue of their league-worst 15-67 record last season, had priority over any other team who might have had an interest in Marshall. Had the North Carolina point guard hit free agency, the Lakers might have looked to re-sign him at the same $915,243 salary -- after using their cap room. Once teams are over the NBA's $63.1 million salary team, they can still sign players at a minimum salary. Through 54 appearances with the Lakers last season, Marshall averaged 8.0 points and 8.8 assists. The Lakers have point guards Steve Nash and Jeremy Lin under...

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Lakers agree to bring back Wesley Johnson, Xavier Henry, Ryan Kelly

The Lakers fleshed out their roster Friday, agreeing to terms with forwards Wesley Johnson, Xavier Henry and Ryan Kelly. The team also renounced its rights to Johnson and Henry, along with Kent Bazemore, who has an unsigned agreement to join the Atlanta Hawks. Confused? The salary guidelines in the NBA collective bargaining agreement can often seem counter-intuitive. The Lakers need cap room to re-sign Nick Young to a four-year, $21.5-million contract. Even unsigned, both Johnson and Henry take up $915,243 of salary cap space. By renouncing the pair, the Lakers gain an extra $815,814 to pay Young. Johnson and Henry are expected to sign one-year minimum deals, both at $981,084. Their deals can be consummated after Young is re-signed, as teams over the cap are able to sign players for minimum contracts. The details of Kelly's agreement with the Lakers are not yet known. As an unsigned restricted free agent he takes up $1 million of the team's salary cap space. With Kelly's current offer,...

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Kendall Marshall, a casualty of the salary cap, waived by Lakers

The Lakers have waived point guard Kendall Marshall in a salary cap move that should help open up space to re-sign guard Nick Young. Marshall, who averaged 8.0 points and 8.8 assists a game through 54 appearances last season, after joining the Lakers in late December, had a non-guaranteed $915,243 contract. On Thursday, the Lakers claimed Carlos Boozer off amnesty waivers from the Chicago Bulls, winning the veteran's services with a $3.251-million bid. The Lakers also have verbal agreements to re-sign Jordan Hill for $18 million for two seasons, and Young for $21.5 million over four. To make all the numbers work for Boozer, Hill and Young, the Lakers need to walk carefully through the maze of rules in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement. After acquiring Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets in trade, the Lakers have $46.5 million in guaranteed contracts for the 2014-15 season (including Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Julius Randle, Robert Sacre, Boozer and Lin). Ryan Kelly, whom the...

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Lakers' roster suddenly loaded with power players

The Lakers are suddenly deep, at least in volume, at power forward. After drafting Kentucky Wildcat Julius Randle with the seventh pick in the 2014 NBA draft, the Lakers claimed Carlos Boozer off waivers from the Chicago Bulls on Thursday. The Bulls used their one-time amnesty to remove Boozer from their salary cap and luxury tax calculations. Teams with cap room were allowed a single blind bid for his contract. The Lakers won with a $3.251-million offer. The team will now be responsible for Boozer's final year and a portion of his $16.8-million salary. The Bulls will pay the veteran forward $13.55 million not to play in Chicago (except when the Lakers make their lone visit this coming season). Cutting Boozer enabled the Bulls to bring in two-time Lakers NBA champion Pau Gasol, a loss the Lakers' additional depth may not be able to immediately replace. Additionally, the Lakers have agreed sign free-agent forward Ed Davis and bring back Jordan Hill. The franchise also has a qualifying...

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Lakers acquire Carlos Boozer after submitting highest bid

The Lakers added another big man Thursday, winning a bid for former Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer. Boozer, 32, was waived by the Bulls on Tuesday via the amnesty provision. It was unclear what the Lakers paid for him in a blind bid submitted to the NBA office, but it will help offset the $16.8 million the Bulls owed him. Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds last season for Chicago. He lost playing time to up-and-coming power forward Taj Gibson late in the season. The Lakers did not have much salary-cap space and presumably offered about $3 million for Boozer, who has career averages of 16.6 points and 9.8 rebounds. The Lakers now have five big men on their roster: Boozer, Jordan Hill, Robert Sacre, rookie Julius Randle and Ed Davis, who they agreed to terms with Wednesday on a two-year, $2-million contract. They also hope to add Ryan Kelly to complete their big-man rotation. It was not immediately known how many other teams put in bids for Boozer. Under NBA rules, bids...

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Lakers reach deal with Ed Davis, former first-round draft pick

The Lakers agreed to terms with free-agent power forward Ed Davis on a two-year contract worth $2 million, adding some depth to a severely understaffed frontcourt. Davis, 25, averaged 5.7 points and 4.1 rebounds last season in 15.2 minutes a game for the Memphis Grizzlies. The 13th pick in the 2010 draft had a career high of 9.7 points when he played for the Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors in 2012-13. He holds a player option for the second year of the contract. The Lakers now effectively have 10 players on their roster — Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, Julius Randle, Jordan Hill, Nick Young, Robert Sacre, Kendall Marshall, Jordan Clarkson and Davis. Of those 10, four are big men: Randle, Hill, Sacre and Davis. Marshall and Clarkson currently hold non-guaranteed contracts, though Clarkson has played well on the Lakers' summer-league team and is a virtual lock to make the team next season. Marshall would be back at a relatively inexpensive $915,243, far below the league average...

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