Anderson Is a Guard of Interest for Lakers

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Lakers, short on veteran backcourt help, were one of a half-dozen teams that showed interest in acquiring guard Derek Anderson after he became the first player waived under the “amnesty” provision, Anderson’s agent said Wednesday.

Anderson, who has averaged 13.1 points and 3.7 assists in his eight-year career, was released by the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a one-time opportunity for teams to waive a player by Aug. 15 to reduce their luxury-tax payouts.

Anderson, 31, will still get paid $18.8 million over the next two seasons by the Trail Blazers, but he is free to draw a second salary from another team, possibly the Lakers.


“In our minds, that’s a pretty good fit for him,” said Anderson’s agent, Tony Dutt. “That’s a good situation. They want to go short [in contract years], and we want to go short.”

Anderson probably would accept a two-year deal if it was for the full midlevel exception of $5 million a season.

The 6-5 Anderson made a career-best 38.4% of his three-point attempts last season, but he sat out 66 games over the last two seasons because of back problems. He is currently in good shape and healthy, Dutt said.

Other teams that inquired about Anderson included the Miami Heat, Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves, Dutt said.

The Trail Blazers also waived veteran guard Nick Van Exel, declining to pick up a final non-guaranteed year of his contract. Van Exel, 34, averaged 10.7 points last season and would have made $12.8 million next season.

Dutt, who also represents Van Exel, said the Lakers had not expressed interest in reuniting with their former draft pick.


-- Mike Bresnahan


The Phoenix Suns, who have lost one shooting guard this summer (Quentin Richardson) and are close to losing another (Joe Johnson), signed free agent Raja Bell to a five-year contract worth just under $24 million.

Bell set career highs in scoring (12.3), rebounds (3.2), assists (1.5), field-goal percentage (.454) and minutes (28.4) last season with the Utah Jazz.


Milwaukee Buck center Zaza Pachulia signed a $16-million, four-year offer sheet with the Atlanta Hawks. The 21-year-old Pachulia is a restricted free agent, meaning the Bucks have seven days to match the offer.... As expected, the Orlando Magic signed free-agent point guard Keyon Dooling. Terms weren’t disclosed, but Dooling said late last month that the sides reached a three-year agreement worth nearly $10 million. He averaged 5.2 points and 1.8 assists last season with Miami.