The Lakers start training camp Monday with 19 players under contract.
In addition to adding 32-year old Brazilian rookie point guard Marcelo Huertas, the Lakers signed undrafted center Robert Upshaw to a two-year, partially guaranteed contract.
Huertas hopes to make the team as a veteran backcourt presence. Upshaw needs to prove he’s moved beyond issues that derailed his college career.
The team also brought back a link to the past, signing forward Metta World Peace, who has helped to mentor second-year forward Julius Randle over the summer.
The Lakers hope to foster a young core of at least eight players, built around D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Randle and possibly center Roy Hibbert.
Hibbert is looking to rediscover his game after falling out of favor with the Indiana Pacers. He recently put his Indiana mansion up for sale.
After January shoulder surgery, Kobe Bryant was finally given total medical clearance near the start of his 20th season.
New York Knicks President Phil Jackson said he expects Bryant to play beyond the coming season, though not necessarily with the Lakers.
Meanwhile, General Manager Mitch Kupchak tempered expectations for the upcoming season. The team promoted executives Jesse Buss, Ryan West and Clay Moser to new positions within the organization.
While Clarkson wanted to play overseas for the Philippines in the FIBA Asia Championship, the schedule just didn’t work for the Lakers.
The LAPD swarmed a fight at a restaurant where Nick Young was dining. Former Lakers guard Steve Nash joined the Golden State Warriors as a player development consultant.
Finally, Lakers Coach Byron Scott made a home for himself in Hermosa Beach, while James Worthy put his Westside home on the market for $2.195 million.
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