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Mark Willard and Arash Markazi evaluate the Lakers' offseason.
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Max Kellerman, Marcellus Wiley and Michelle Beadle debate whether it is fair to call Kobe Bryant "this generation's Michael Jordan."

Nick Young, Ryan Kelly sign with L.A.

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
6:05
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[+] EnlargeNick Young
Soobum Im/USA TODAY SportsThe Lakers officially signed Nick Young to a four-year, $21.5 million deal on Monday.

The Los Angeles Lakers took care of some unfinished business on Monday, officially signing both Nick Young and Ryan Kelly to contract extensions.

The signings were merely a formality, as the team had already reached agreements with both Young and Kelly in the last several weeks while general manager Mitch Kupchak attempted to fill out the roster for next season through free agency.

"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," Kupchak said in a statement. "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 a four-year, $21.5 million deal with a player option on the fourth year. The Lakers used part of their "room exception" to sign Kelly to a two-year deal worth approximately $3.5 million. The new contracts represent a nice raise for both Young and Kelly who made approximately $1.2 million and $500,000, respectively, while with the Lakers last season.


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The PTI guys evaluate the Lakers' offseason.
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Michael Cooper has tongue cancer

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
1:33
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ATLANTA -- Atlanta Dream coach Michael Cooper has early-stage tongue cancer and has taken a leave from the WNBA team.

Cooper will have surgery this week at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta, and a full recovery is expected, the Dream said Monday.

The 58-year-old coach is expected to miss about two weeks, with assistant coach Karleen Thompson filling in. Atlanta plays at Minnesota on Tuesday.

"I'm fortunate that my condition was diagnosed early, and this episode illustrates the importance of screening and early detection," Cooper said. "I know the team will be in good hands with Coach Thompson at the helm during my absence, and I look forward to returning to the court soon."

Cooper is in his first season with Atlanta. His team leads the Eastern Conference with a 15-6 record. He coached the East to a 125-124 overtime victory at the WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday.

Cooper won five NBA titles as a shooting guard with the Los Angeles Lakers during the "Showtime" era from 1978-90. As a coach, he won two WNBA titles with the Los Angeles Sparks and one NBA Development League championship with Albuquerque.

After his second run with the Sparks, Cooper was hired as the women's coach at USC. He resigned in March after an 11-20 season, his first losing mark in four seasons.


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Richard Sherman hosted a celebrity softball game in which he and Kobe Bryant launch home runs in front of 22,000 fans.

Bucks get Kendall Marshall's contract

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
4:43
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MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Bucks have been awarded the contract of Kendall Marshall, the second-year guard who was waived last week by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Marshall appeared in 54 games for the Lakers last season, averaging 8.0 points, 8.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game. He shot 39.9 percent from 3-point range.

He'll be reunited in Milwaukee with Bucks forward John Henson, his teammate at the University of North Carolina.

Phoenix drafted Marshall with the 13th pick in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to Washington with Marcin Gortat and two other players for Emeka Okafor and a draft pick. The Wizards waived him, and he played seven games in the NBA D-League before the Lakers called him up.


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Kobe Bryant is documentary subject

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
5:05
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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Kobe Bryant says he's "scared'' about his future after basketball, although he's embracing the challenge of finding something that he can be as passionate about as sports.

Bryant turns 36 next month and is under contract with the Los Angeles Lakers for two more years. He was limited to just six games last season because of two major leg injuries, leaving him with the kind of idle time he never had before in his career.

Bryant gives a peek into his life in a Showtime documentary airing in November. "Kobe Bryant's Muse'' covers much of last season, when Bryant was sidelined and the Lakers finished 27-55, the most losses in club history.

"It's a fascinating time to be around this guy,'' said Gotham Chopra, who directed the film. "There's this sort of looking forward to life after basketball. This is a guy that's asking a lot of questions.''

The unexpected time off last season forced Bryant to think about his post-basketball future.

"I'm afraid, too,'' he said Friday at the summer TV critics' meeting. "You really have to lean on muses and mentors going forward, just as I did as a kid. It's about having that next wave of things, which is scary as hell, but it's fun at the same time.''

Bryant said this film is different than the 2009 ESPN documentary "Kobe Doin' Work,'' which was directed by Spike Lee. The new film includes Magic Johnson and former Lakers coach and current Knicks president Phil Jackson.

"It's more introspective,'' he said. "It's about who or what has inspired me.''

Bryant is credited as an executive producer on the Showtime film, a vanity credit only.

"I'm not even quite sure what it is they do,'' he said.

He arrived 30 minutes late for his session with critics.


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Pau Gasol: Kobe Bryant understood

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
3:21
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[+] EnlargePau Gasol
David Banks/USA TODAY Sports"It was difficult to talk to [Kobe], but he was very supportive and he understood," Pau Gasol said. "He just said I had to do what was best for me and what felt right for me and he was going to support me no matter what."

Pau Gasol officially said goodbye to 6½ years with the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday as he was welcomed to the Chicago Bulls during his introductory news conference.

But before he could totally turn the page, Gasol reflected on what it was like to bid farewell to one certain former Lakers teammate: Kobe Bryant.

"It was difficult," Gasol told reporters when asked about informing Bryant of his decision to sign with the Bulls. "We have a close friendship. We've been through a lot together, and I'm sure I will miss him. But we talked to each other and our relationship goes beyond basketball and we'll always have a friendship.

"It was difficult to talk to him, but he was very supportive and he understood. He just said I had to do what was best for me and what felt right for me and he was going to support me no matter what. That's what friends and brothers do, and that's what we are."


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Xavier Henry, Lakers have 1-year deal

July, 18, 2014
Jul 18
11:11
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Lakers have reached an agreement to retain free-agent swingman Xavier Henry, a league source told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Friday.

Henry, 23, will sign a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum, worth $1,063,384, according to the source.

He took to Twitter to announce the news.

After being drafted No. 12 in 2010 by Memphis, Henry has played for three teams in his four seasons in the NBA.

The Lakers experimented a bit with their roster last season by bringing in several former lottery picks on one-year deals in hopes of realizing the potential they showed leading up to the draft, and Henry panned out.

He averaged career highs in points (10.0), rebounds (2.7), assists (1.2), steals (1.0) and minutes (21.1) per game -- all while shooting a career-best 41.7 percent from the field in 43 games (making five starts) -- before having his season cut short because of a torn ligament in his left wrist, and a bone bruise and abnormality of the meniscus in his right knee.

Henry underwent a pair of surgeries to correct both injuries, and he rehabbed in Los Angeles with the Lakers' training staff this offseason before being offered the new deal.


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Carlos Boozer and the Lakers' offseason

July, 17, 2014
Jul 17
9:12
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Strauss By Ethan Sherwood Strauss
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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Ethan Sherwood Strauss and Amin Elhassan take stock of the Lakers offseason after the acquisitions of Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis.

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The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired Carlos Boozer on amnesty waivers, calling him "an established veteran and a proven All-Star who will be a welcome addition to our team."

Nine teams with cap space were able to make a blind bid to pick up the remaining portion of Boozer's $16.8 million deal with the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers won with a bid of $3.25 million, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein.

"We're very pleased to have won the bidding process and to have gained his rights, and look forward to his contributions next season," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a news release.

The Bulls must pay Boozer the remaining $13.6 million that he is owed in 2014-15 on the final year of his current contract. Releasing Boozer via the amnesty clause removes that $13.6 million from Chicago's books for salary-cap and luxury-tax purposes, but the Bulls still must pay him the money he's owed.

Boozer was released by the Bulls earlier this week as they made room to sign free agents Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic.

The Lakers have added two power forwards in the past 24 hours after agreeing on a two-year, $2 million deal with free agent Ed Davis on Wednesday. They also recently signed big man Jordan Hill to a two-year, $18 million deal. Center Robert Sacre is also on their roster.


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SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0