The NBA's annual moratorium ended Thursday, allowing teams to sign free agents.
While it didn't take long before a number of players signed their deals, the Lakers remained in neutral while waiting for New York Knicks free agent Carmelo Anthony to decide his future.
The Lakers would love to give Anthony a significant deal to change coasts, but a New York Daily News report Wednesday indicated the high-scoring forward is expected to return to the Knicks.
Meanwhile, the Lakers officially lost two players from last year's squad. Chris Kaman officially joined the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday; Jordan Farmar became a Clipper.
Shooting guard Jodie Meeks has agreed to leave the Lakers for the Detroit Pistons on a lucrative, $19-million contract over three seasons.
Veteran point guard Steve Blake, who the Lakers traded to the Golden State Warriors in February, also signed a contract to join the Trail Blazers for the third time in his career.
With some recruiting from Kobe Bryant, the Lakers reached out to Blake this week but were only willing to discuss a minimum contract offered with a minimum offer, starting at $1.4 million. Instead, Blake got a two-year deal starting at $2.1 million from Portland.
Farmar agreed to a similar deal with the Clippers, choosing a sure thing instead of waiting on the Lakers.
Kaman will make about $5 million a season for the Blazers.
The Lakers have just four players under contract (Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre and Kendall Marshall) -- six including unsigned rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.
Anthony is believed to be choosing among the Chicago Bulls, Knicks and Lakers. With free agents quickly coming off the market, the longer the process drags on, the more challenging Plan B might be for the Lakers.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times