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Lakers make Xavier Henry signing official; roster is up to 11 players

The Lakers officially signed Xavier Henry on Friday, locking in their 11th player. Henry, who averaged 10 points in 43 games last season, recently agreed to re-sign for a second year with the team. "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,” 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 skill set and become a well-rounded player." Henry's deal is believed to be a one-year contract at the league minimum of $981,084. The team did not reveal terms. By a quirk in the NBA's complex collective bargaining agreement, Henry can block a trade should the team try to move him.  He doesn't possess a true no-trade clause, but re-signing on a one-year deal creates a similar situation. Henry, 23, was one of the bright spots during the Lakers' dismal 27-55 campaign...

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Fans won't hate Byron Scott on arrival, unlike departed Mike D'Antoni

The Lakers may be close to hiring a head coach, negotiating with Byron Scott to fill the spot left vacant when Mike D'Antoni resigned at the end of April. In Scott, the franchise would be installing a leader with longtime Lakers ties. Scott won three titles as a player during the Showtime era. He also played one year with a rookie Kobe Bryant during the 1996-97 season. By contrast, D'Antoni arrived as a rival, coach of the team (Phoenix) that knocked the Lakers out of the playoffs two straight years in 2006 and 2007. He was never embraced by the Laker fan base. The losing didn't help, whether it was D'Antoni's fault or the Lakers' epic run of bad luck (specifically injuries). Coaching philosophy aside, Scott won't join the Lakers already hated by the fans, a chasm D'Antoni was never able to overcome. Instead he's a long-time Laker returning home. Scott also has the respect of Bryant, important given how headstrong the All-Star guard can be. If Bryant is on board, the rest of the Lakers...

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Lakers negotiating with Byron Scott to be their next coach

The Lakers have started negotiating with Byron Scott to become their next head coach, according to a person familiar with the situation. There has not been a formal contract offer, but the Lakers consider Scott to be their preferred candidate and are hoping to come to an agreement soon. "It could be a few hours or it could happen next week," said the person, who asked not to be identified. Scott was believed to be vacationing in the Bahamas, meaning a news conference probably wouldn't be held until after the weekend if the sides struck a deal. Scott has coached three teams, most recently Cleveland in 2012-13, where he was fired and replaced by former Lakers Coach Mike Brown. Scott, 53, has a tight relationship with Kobe Bryant and recognition from Lakers fans who remember his smooth stroke on the “Showtime” teams of the 1980s. Bryant gave Scott a thumbs-up for the job earlier this month, calling his former teammate a “rookie mentor” who made Bryant fetch donuts and run other errands as...

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Carlos Boozer 'absolutely' expects to start for Lakers

Carlos Boozer fully expects to be a starter this season with the Lakers. "Absolutely," Boozer said Friday, giving a single-word answer on if sees himself in the starting lineup this coming year. The Lakers took Julius Randle with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. Will the Kentucky forward be ready to start at power forward opening night, or will be come off the bench behind Boozer? The Lakers have a crowded frontcourt with rookie Ryan Kelly, Robert Sacre, Ed Davis, Jordan Hill, Randle and Boozer. Could the Lakers start an undersized 6-foot-9 pair with Randle at power forward and Boozer at center? If so, what of center/forward Hill, who was re-signed for $18 million over the next two seasons? A head coach might be able to provide some clarity, but the team has yet to name one since Mike D'Antoni resigned the position in late April. On Friday, the Lakers introduced Boozer, a little more than a week after making the winning bid when the Chicago Bulls used their one-time...

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Lakers unlikely to pay luxury tax for 2014-15 season

After paying $9 million in luxury-tax penalties last year, the Lakers are unlikely to pay any tax for the 2014-15 season. The Lakers have been one of the league's heaviest taxpayers, penalized each of the last seven years for the franchise's expensive payroll. With the recent signings of Jordan Hill and Ed Davis, the Lakers have reached a total of $65.4 million in committed salaries for the coming year. The Lakers are officially 10 players deep with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, Carlos Boozer, Robert Sacre, Nick Young, Julius Randle, Ryan Kelly, Hill and Davis. Additionally, the franchise has reached verbal agreements with forwards Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry on one-year, minimum deals. Though they'll both count as $915,243 on the team's books, they'll actually receive $981,084. If a player has been in the NBA three or more seasons and is playing under a one-year minimum-salary contract, the league provides reimbursement for part of his salary -- any amount above the minimum...

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New Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin doesn't expect 'Linsanity' in L.A.

The Lakers finally got the point guard who intrigued them over the years. They initially tried to sign Jeremy Lin as an undrafted rookie in 2010 but he chose Golden State for the same amount of money. (It was closer to home.) In a less-publicized action, the Lakers put in a waiver claim for Lin when Golden State dropped him in 2011. Houston had a worse record than the Lakers and was awarded him. But the Lakers acquired him in a trade with the Rockets this month. “This time, we got Jeremy Lin,” Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday at a news conference officially introducing the 25-year-old point guard. One thing is certain. Lin isn’t looking to repeat the intense attention that accompanied him while playing for New York in 2011-12. “I’m not trying to relive that banner season and I think that’s been a big weight off my shoulder. I’m not trying to recreate a ‘Linsanity,’ ” he said. “I’m not trying to be that phenomenon that happened in New York. I just want to be myself...

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Jordan Hill officially re-signs with Lakers

The Lakers made the signing of free agent Jordan Hill official Wednesday, locking in the 6-foot-10 center/power forward to an estimated two-year, $18-million contract. "Jordan has been a consistent contributor for us over the last three seasons and we are pleased to keep him in the Laker family,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak in a statement. "Jordan’s frontcourt versatility is a benefit to our roster and his on-court work ethic is something we value on our team. We hope he’ll continue to work hard and develop as an NBA player." The Lakers weren't able to re-sign Hill until after using their cap room to bring back free agent Nick Young, who returned to the Lakers on Monday on a four-year, $21.3-million contract. Hill was brought back via his "Bird Rights" after spending most of the last three seasons with the Lakers. Hill took up $6.8 million of the Lakers' cap room as a free agent. The Lakers were able to exceed the salary cap to re-sign him at roughly $9 million for the coming...

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Ed Davis officially joins the Lakers' crowded frontcourt

The Lakers introduced Ed Davis on Wednesday after signing the free-agent forward to a two-year contract. "It's a great organization, a franchise with a lot of history here," said Davis.  "I think it's an opportunity where I can play and help this team win." The 25-year-old, four-year veteran likely will earn the NBA minimum of $981,084 this season with a player option on a second year at $1.1 million. "He has a very promising future. He's going to continue to work and develop in this league," said General Manager Mitch Kupchak, who left without answering questions  -- like about the team's protracted coaching vacancy -- after welcoming Davis. Former Coach Mike D'Antoni resigned at the end of April.  The Lakers are the only NBA franchise currently without a head coach. It remains unclear how exactly Davis will fit into the Lakers' forward-heavy rotation, with rookie power forward Julius Randle, returning forward Ryan Kelly and recently acquired veteran power forward Carlos Boozer. "It's...

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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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