[+] EnlargeJeanie Buss, Jim Buss
Chris McPherson"[Jim] understands that we have to continue to strive for greatness and I think he would be the first one to feel that he would need to step down if he can't get us to that point," team president Jeanie Buss said Thursday.

Los Angeles Lakers team president Jeanie Buss has said before that the team is rebuilding under a deadline. Specifically, she has said, the Lakers need to make a deep run in the playoffs within three years or else her brother, Jim, will step down from his post as the team's president of basketball operations.

When asked about that deadline in a radio appearance with KPCC on Thursday, Jeanie Buss reiterated that timeline is still in place and if the Lakers don't reach their goals by then, she's ready for change.

"Yeah, absolutely," Buss said. "This is my job. I'm part-owner of the team, but I'm also the president. The Buss family is the majority owner but we have other partners as well who are also shareholders, and I have an obligation to them. Would I make those changes? Yes. My brother understands that we have to continue to strive for greatness and I think he would be the first one to feel that he would need to step down if he can't get us to that point."

She explained the circumstances surrounding that timeline.


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Highly coveted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge will take a second meeting with the Los Angeles Lakers and will have dinner with Pat Riley of the Miami Heat, sources told ESPN.com.

Aldridge's meeting with the Lakers will focus on just talking basketball with general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Byron Scott, sources said.

The Lakers were the first to sit down with Aldridge, in a meeting that lasted nearly two hours and had seemed to the Lakers to go "really well," a source told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne on Wednesday.

However, the Lakers were "stunned" to find out that Aldridge was less than impressed by their presentation, a source told Shelburne.

Aldridge was underwhelmed with the meeting, a source told ESPN's Chris Broussard, saying that the presentation focused too much on the off-the-court amenities of life in Los Angeles and not enough on basketball. The Lakers tried to sell Aldridge on the marketing opportunities available in L.A., the Los Angeles Times reported.

By having Aldridge sit down with just Kupchak and Scott, it appears the Lakers plan to pitch the 29-year-old on how he fits into the team's on-the-court product.

"This time we want a chance to really focus on basketball and what we can do for him," a team source told Shelburne on Thursday.


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ESPN NBA analyst Tom Penn joins Ryen Russillo to discuss the Los Angeles Lakers' strategy in free agency, whether the New York Knicks or Lakers are more attractive to free agents, and the impact of the salary cap increase.

Penn explains why the Lakers aren't attractive to free agents this summer. "They don't have much to offer, other than being in L.A.," Penn said.

"The Lakers sales pitch has to be a two-year sales pitch," stated Penn, who thinks the Lakers are a more appealing situation than the Knicks.

"Kobe's only under contract for one season. And then, he will be back but it will be at a much reduced rate I would think," Penn noted. "They will have room to build around, plus L.A. has D'Angelo (Russell) and Julius Randle."

The Knicks, on the other hand, are locked into a big contract with Carmelo Anthony for four more years.

For more, click to listen on desktop or on your mobile device.

Ed Davis is leaving Los Angeles for the Portland Trail Blazers. Now, like most of the rest of the league, he's waiting for LaMarcus Aldridge to make a decision and determine just how big Davis' role will be in his new home.

Davis agreed to terms on a three-year, $20 million deal with the Blazers on Thursday, agent David Bauman of Relativity Sports said.

The 25-year-old Davis was the 13th overall pick by the Toronto Raptors in 2010, but he has bounced around the league for his first five seasons. He spent two and a half seasons in Toronto and another season and a half in Memphis before signing a two-year deal with the Lakers last summer that allowed him to opt out after his first year.

Davis averaged 8.3 points and 7.6 rebounds in just over 23 minutes per game with the Lakers, a productive stint especially for a player making under $1 million. He's getting a hefty raise to go to Portland, but he won't know exactly what his role will be with the Blazers until Aldridge decides where he will sign.

If the All-Star power forward chooses to remain in Portland, Davis will be a valuable and versatile piece off the bench for a Blazers roster that is in flux. Nicolas Batum was traded to Charlotte, free agent Wesley Matthews is unlikely to return and new faces including Gerald Henderson and Mason Plumlee have arrived to change things up.


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Brian Windhorst explains why the Lakers are struggling to land top-tier free agents.
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Colin Cowherd gives his takes on the Lakers' use of Kobe Bryant to attract free agents.
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The Milwaukee Bucks got bigger Thursday, agreeing to terms with free-agent center Greg Monroe, agent David Falk said.

Monroe spurned the New York Knicks among other teams by agreeing to terms with the Bucks on a three-year maximum deal worth approximately $50 million with a player option for the final year, sources told ESPN.

Yahoo! Sports reported the agreement earlier Thursday.

The 25-year-old Monroe joins a promising young nucleus in Milwaukee that features Giannis Antetokounmpo (age 20), Jabari Parker (20), Khris Middleton (23) and Michael Carter-Williams (23).

Monroe, the 6-foot-11 big man out of Georgetown, was linked to the Knicks as a primary free-agent target because of his ability to score, rebound and pass and his potential fit in the triangle offense. Monroe's decision to join the Bucks is a blow for New York, which is looking to add more talent around star Carmelo Anthony.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers also reportedly met with Monroe this week.

Falk, Monroe's agent, said all four teams offered his client a maximum deal but Monroe chose the Bucks because he believes they have the best chance at making the playoffs immediately.

NBA free agency started Wednesday, but teams can't officially sign players until July 9.

Monroe immediately gives the Bucks an offensive and rebounding presence inside.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, he was one of five players (along with DeMarcus Cousins


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Tweet him goodbye? Lakers' courtship of Aldridge cools

July, 1, 2015
Jul 1
6:51
PM PT
Holmes By Baxter Holmes
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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videoIn the wake of reports that LaMarcus Aldridge will not be signing with the Los Angeles Lakers after their meeting with the free-agent power forward late Tuesday did not go well, the team has deleted a tweet from its verified Twitter account aimed at recruiting Aldridge. The specific tweet showed a photo of musician Adam Levine holding an Aldridge Lakers jersey.

Team president Jeanie Buss has also deleted a tweet from her verified account, aimed at recruiting Aldridge. That tweet showed a photo with the hashtag "#LAtoLA"

Aldridge, the Lakers' top free-agent target, was underwhelmed with Tuesday night's meeting, a source told ESPN's Chris Broussard, saying that the presentation focused too much on the off-the-court amenities of life in Los Angeles and not enough on basketball.

A source told the Los Angeles Times that Aldridge has crossed the Lakers off his list of potential destinations, but Aldridge's representation tweeted Wednesday that Aldridge had "not made any decisions yet. All reports to the contrary are false & he looks forward to sharing his plans soon."

Victor Decolongon/Getty Imagesnull

The Lakers star tweeted a meme as reports were circulating about the Lakers' meeting with Aldridge.
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Less than 24 hours after meeting with highly coveted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge, the Los Angeles Lakers are "stunned" to hear that Aldridge was less than impressed by their presentation, a source told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. 

The Lakers were the first to sit down with Aldridge, in a meeting that lasted nearly two hours and had seemed to the Lakers to go "really well," a source told Shelburne. 

However, Aldridge was underwhelmed with the meeting, a source told ESPN's Chris Broussard, saying that the presentation focused too much on the off-the-court amenities of life in Los Angeles and not enough on basketball. The Lakers tried to sell Aldridge on the marketing opportunities available in L.A., the Los Angeles Times reported. 

Aldridge was described as "engaged" but "noncommittal" during the presentation, reported the Los Angeles Times. A source told the Times that Aldridge has crossed the Lakers off his list of potential destinations. Aldridge's representation tweeted Wednesday that Aldridge had "not made any decisions yet. All reports to the contrary are false & he looks forward to sharing his plans soon."

Lakers star Kobe Bryant was in attendance at the meeting. Aldridge asked Bryant how he thought they would play together and Bryant compared it to his dynamic with former teammate Pau Gasol, a source told Shelburne.

Wednesday evening, it appeared the Lakers were moving on without their top target.

The team deleted a tweet from its verified Twitter account aimed at recruiting Aldridge. The tweet showed a photo of musician Adam Levine holding an Aldridge Lakers jersey.

It also appeared team president Jeanie Buss deleted a tweet from her verified account that showed a photo with the hashtag "#LAtoLA."

The Lakers' #LAtoLA tweets weren't deleted out of sheepishness, sources told ESPN.com's Dave McMenamin, but rather by NBA request after other teams complained.

The team had cleared the #LAtoLA tweet plan with the NBA's legal department beforehand but still honored the requests to delete the tweet, sources told McMenamin.

Aldridge also scheduled meetings with the Houston Rockets


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The Chicago Bulls have agreed to a five-year, $90 million maximum contract with free-agent guard Jimmy Butler, sources said.

Butler will have a player option for the fifth year of the deal, but the pact assures he will be in Chicago through the 2019-20 season.

After receiving the max offer Monday, Butler postponed meetings with the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks, sources said.

Butler had one of the biggest breakout seasons in recent memory this past season for the Bulls, becoming an All-Star for the first time, while averaging 20.0 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists a game. He became one of the best two-way players in the game and guarded the opposition's best perimeter player on a nightly basis.

Bulls executive vice president John Paxson was already on record as saying the team would match any offer sheet Butler would sign this summer, but the hope within the organization was that it could work out a deal beforehand.

Also Wednesday, the Bulls agreed to a deal with veteran Mike Dunleavy.

Free agency started Wednesday, but deals can't officially be signed until July 9.

ESPN.com's Nick Friedell contributed to this report.


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Chris Broussard lists the teams interested in signing DeAndre Jordan.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Kobe Bryant
PTS AST STL MIN
22.3 5.6 1.3 34.5
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.9
AssistsK. Bryant 5.6
StealsR. Price 1.6
BlocksE. Davis 1.2