Lakers teammates Nick Young, left, and Jordan Farmar attend a USC-UCLA men's basketball game in February. They made more sporting rounds this week.

Nick Young and Jordan Farmar visit Kings and Dodgers

Lakers guards Nick Young and Jordan Farmar are enjoying the off-season, making appearances at a Kings game at Staples Center on Tuesday and taking in a Dodgers game Wednesday.

Young and Farmar grew up in Los Angeles -- Young played for Cleveland High School in Reseda while Farmar went to Taft in Woodland Hills.

Both joined the Lakers last summer. Farmar, originally drafted in 2006 with the 26th overall pick by the team, was in his second stint after playing overseas in Turkey.

The Kings lost Tuesday to the San Jose Sharks, 4-3 -- despite Young riding the Zamboni.

The Dodgers host the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.  The Lakers pair got to sit in the dugout before the game.

Young even got pitching lessons from Dodgers legend Orel Hershiser before throwing out the game's first pitch.

Swaggy gets lessons from a legend: — Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) A...
Lakers' Jodie Meeks dives for a loose ball against Washington in March.

Jodie Meeks gets minor consideration for NBA's most improved player

On Wednesday, the NBA announced Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic was selected as the league's most improved player this season.

Lakers guard Jodie Meeks was recognized in the voting, albeit with a single second-place vote, tying for 20th place.

With Kobe Bryant playing just six games this past season with Achilles' and knee injuries, Meeks made the most of his opportunity to start 77 games for the Lakers.

Meeks averaged 15.7 points per game while shooting 46.3% from the field and 40.1% from three-point range.

The 6-foot-4 Kentucky product will become a free agent in July.

Dragic was the runaway winner with 65 first-place votes, 25 second-place votes and eight third-place votes, translating to 408 points.

Indiana's Lance Stephenson came in second with 158 points. Meeks' three points matched players like LeBron James, Bradley Beal, Mike Conley and Andre Drummond, among others.

Clippers center DeAndre Jordan came in fifth in the voting; Blake Griffin was seventh.


Lakers hire Dan...


Lakers hire Dan Grigsby as general counsel; Jim Perzik now senior VP

The Lakers have promoted Jim Perzik from general counsel to senior vice president of legal affairs/secretary, while hiring Dan Grigsby to fill Perzik's former position.

Grigsby previously was partner and chairman of the National Sports Law Group with the law firm Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell.

"Having worked with Dan as our outside legal representative for over 30 years, we’re very familiar and comfortable with him, and have the highest regard for him as both an attorney and person,” said Jeanie Buss in a statement Tuesday.

Perzik served as an advisor to the late Jerry Buss for almost 50 years, helping Buss in the initial 1979 acquisition of the Lakers.

In his new role, Perzik will continue to oversee the team's legal issues, including the development of the Lakers' new practice facility and offices in El Segundo.

Perzik will gradually reduce his workload, starting in January, but will continue to consult with the team.

"Jim has been a part of our Lakers family as well...

Kentucky's Julius Randle celebrates the Wildcats' 75-72 victory over Michigan in the Midwest Regional final.

Kentucky forward Julius Randle declares for NBA draft

Kentucky forward Julius Randle has declared for the NBA draft.

"I've been blessed and fortunate to be put in a position to have to have decisions. A big decision for me is whether to declare for the NBA draft or not," Randle said in a press conference on Tuesday. "Talking with my family, a lot of prayer, I'm deciding to declare for the NBA draft."

Randle, 19, is a physical power forward who helped the Wildcats advance to the NCAA finals, where they ultimately fell to the Connecticut Huskies.

"I've had the best coaching staff in the country, that spent countless hours working with me night in and night out in the gym," Randle said of Coach John Calipari and his staff. "My one year here was fantastic."

In 40 games for the Wildcats, the 6-foot-9 lefty averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds a game while shooting 50% from the field.

The Lakers head into the May 20 draft lottery in sixth position, with a 6.3% chance to climb to the top pick, 7.1% to second and 8.1% to third.  The team only...

Nick Young reacts after hitting a three-pointer against Utah.

Lakers' Week 25 in review

The Lakers wrapped the 2013-14 season with two straight wins, finishing 27-55 on the season.

Week 25 started with a 119-104 win over the Jazz in Utah on Monday, which dropped the Lakers to sixth in the NBA draft lottery.

On Wednesday, the Lakers closed out the year with a 113-110 victory on the road in San Antonio against the Spurs.

All-star Kobe Bryant took off early, heading to France before the Lakers' season ended.

Kent Bazemore underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon in his foot.

Coach Mike D'Antoni reflected on what was a tough season for the Lakers.  After the team held exit meetings, D'Antoni noted that basketball has changed and that analysts need to adapt.

Jordan Farmar, whose isn't under contract for next year, said he wants to return, after what he called an "asterisk" season.

Center Chris Kaman, also an impending free agent, acknowledged frustration with D'Antoni.

Steve Nash, who has another year on his deal, still hopes he can be a healthy contributor for the Lakers.


The Lakers have big decisions to make this off-season with point guard Steve Nash, left, and swingman Jodie Meeks.

Lakers can spend up to $28.2 million in new salary-cap projections

The NBA has raised its salary-cap projection for the 2014-15 season from $62.9 million to $63.2 million.

The current salary cap for the 2013-14 season is $58.7 million. The new cap number, which won't officially be set until the NBA completes its annual audit in early July, would represent a climb of $4.5 million.

The Lakers could have a maximum of $28.2 million in cap space to spend this off-season, provided they renounce the rights to all their free agents, which allows the club to stretch out the final $9.7 million of Steve Nash's contract over three years (at just over $3.2 million a season).

The league limits how much a team can spend on players through the salary cap. The Lakers would be able to spend up to $63.2 million on free agency this summer -- although there are ways around that since the NBA primarily has a "soft cap."

Waiving and stretching Nash's salary would spread his salary over the next three seasons, reducing the Lakers' spending power for 2015-16, when players...

Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak talks to the media.

GM Mitch Kupchak preaches patience for Lakers fans

Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni reacts to a call during the second half of the team's 119-104 win over the Utah Jazz on Monday. Are the Lakers planning to keep D'Antoni for the 2014-15 season?

Mike D'Antoni says basketball has changed; analysts need to adapt

Coach Mike D'Antoni, along with General Manager Mitch Kupchak, met with the team's players over the past 48 hours for exit interviews at the Lakers' practice facility.

The job status of D'Antoni, who is under contract for next season, wasn't discussed.

"We haven't had a meeting yet," said D'Antoni.  "We're off for Easter vacation, and then we'll probably get together sometime [after]."

The Lakers finished with a 27-55 record after an NBA-high 319 player games missed due to injury, including Kobe Bryant, who made just six appearances, dealing with Achilles and knee issues.

"No one's happy about the way the season went," said D'Antoni.  "I think every coach should be under scrutiny; they're under it even if it goes well.  That's part of the job."

The Lakers have yet to announce any coaching change.  D'Antoni could be back, despite a general lack of fan support.

How does he win over a very skeptical fan base?

"By winning, that's the only way you can do it.  They're right to feel the way...

Duke forward Jabari Parker talks to reporters after the Blue Devils' upset loss to Mercer, 78-71, in the NCAA tournament.

Duke's Jabari Parker declares for NBA draft

Duke forward Jabari Parker on Thursday declared for the 2014 NBA draft.

"The time has come for me to join the best basketball league in the world," wrote Parker in an essay for "Today I sent my letter of intent to the NBA. That makes it official -- my days as a Duke basketball player are over."

The 6-foot-8 Parker joins a talented group of prospects projected to fill many of the top-10 selections in June's draft, including Kansas' Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, Arizona's Aaron Gordon, Indiana's Noah Vonleh, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, Syracuse's Tyler Ennis, Creighton's Doug McDermott and Michigan State's Gary Harris as well as international talents Dante Exum of Australia and Dario Saric of Croatia.

Kentucky forward Julius Randle, a potential top-five pick, has yet to declare.

In 35 games as a freshman with Duke, Parker averaged 19.1 points and 8.7 rebounds a game while shooting 50.3% from the field.

Parker, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also...

Pau Gasol will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Pau Gasol: 'This could be my last day, maybe' with the Lakers

Pau Gasol spent his final day ever at the Lakers' training facility on Thursday, yet again.

Trade rumors never managed to whisk him off to seemingly every NBA team the last few years.

So now Gasol has all the leverage, becoming a free agent in July.

"I'll be in charge of my future and my destiny," he said, later adding, "This could be my last day [with the Lakers], maybe."

Gasol never meshed with Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni's small-ball offense. No secret there. He even said Thursday he preferred a controlled pace where players tried to "out-think your opponent."

If the Lakers kept D'Antoni for the final guaranteed year of his contract, it would affect Gasol, even if he didn't fully say it.

"I don't know how much it would affect my decision," he said. "I do believe that the coach ... has an important role in the performance of the team. It would be a factor, but I don't know how big it would be."

Gasol acknowledged having "misunderstandings" with D'Antoni the last two years but pledged...

Steve Nash talks with Coach Mike D'Antoni during the Lakers' game against Utah on Feb. 11.

Steve Nash still hopes he can be a healthy contributor for Lakers

Steve Nash visited with General Manager Mitch Kupchak and Coach Mike D'Antoni at the Lakers' practice facility in El Segundo on Thursday for his exit meeting after a disappointing 2013-14 season.

The veteran point guard hopes to be back next season to finish out the final year on his contract.

"I think I proved that I can still play.  It's just a matter of sustaining it," said Nash.

Nash struggled with a chronic issues in his back, hamstring and knee -- a nerve root irritation that limited the 40-year old point guard to 15 games.

"It took me five months to sprint last summer," said Nash, who has been dealing with the same issues since breaking his knee in the second game of the 2012-13 season.  "It was late August or probably September before I could sprint full out.  I'm hoping we're talking about the next three or four weeks to get back to that place, instead of five months."

Despite how difficult it's been for Nash to stay on the court, at no time along the way has a doctor...

Nick Young reacts after hitting a three-pointer against Utah.

Lakers' Nick Young a showman to the end

The season ended, but Nick Young's one-man show kept rolling.

The always entertaining Lakers reserve excitedly told reporters about his new contract a few minutes after a season-ending meeting Thursday with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

"He said he was going to sign me for $100 million or something like that. Hopefully, he wasn’t lying," Young said.

Young was joking, of course.

But after leading the Lakers in scoring, he will decline a player option for $1.2 million next season and become a free agent in July. He won't make $100 million but might get closer to the average NBA salary of $5.5 million.

The Lakers like him and his personality, other than the one that sometimes hoists bad shots from anywhere on the court.

Kupchak tried to persuade Young to not decline his player option.

"He threw that in. He said it would be better if you just opt in," Young said, smiling, adding a "have your people call my people" line for posterity.

Young got more serious when asked about...

Your Host

Eric Pincus has covered the NBA for over a decade. His focus is on the minutia of teams trying to win a championship , as well as a deeper understanding of the game of basketball and the league itself. @EricPincus

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