By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to sign forward Elias Harris who played for the Lakers in their summer league squad. Harris was reportedly signed to a two year contract for the minimum salary. The signing of Harris comes with the team needing more depth at the forward position after amnestying forward Metta World Peace who agreed to sign with the New York Knicks.
Harris played his college ball at Gonzaga where he played with Lakers back up center Robert Sacre who was also playing for the Lakers in the summer league.The former Gonzaga forward impressed the team in Las Vegas, where the NBA summer league is held, averaging 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds.
With the Lakers adding another forward to the roster it is becoming less likely that they will look to bring back former Laker Lamar Odom who played with the Los Angeles Clippers last year. The Lakers are however still looking for a player to bring to the squad. This off season the Lakers have signed Robert Sacre, Chris Kaman, Jordan Farmar, Nick Young, Wes Johnson and now Elias Harris.
(Getty Images/Sam Forencich)
By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to sign shooting guard Wesley Johnson according to Mike Bresnahan. the Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times. Johnson will be sigining with the Lakers on a one year deal for the veteran’s minimum of $1 million. Johnson was the 4th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft and was selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Johnson has only played for two NBA teams, the Timberwolves and the Phoenix Suns. Last season with the Suns he averaged 8 points per game. The former Syracuse college basketball player is a solid signing by the Lakers. Johnson can play both shooting guard and the small forward position which will be important after the Lakers decided to amnesty Metta World Peace to save the team money.
The 26-year old brings size and athleticism to a Laker team that will need it. Johnson can look to start fresh with the Lakers after struggling with his first two teams. The Lakers now have Nick Young, who is expected to start, and Johnson that can play at the small forward position.
(Getty Images/Lisa Blumenfeld)
By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers officially decided to use their amnesty clause on forward Metta World Peace. World Peace was set to make $7.7 million next year and did pick up the player option he had. The Lakers are set to save about $14 million in luxury tax with amnestying World Peace. Other Lakers that could have been victims of the amnesty clause includes Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Steve Blake. The signing of new Laker Nick Young made it easier for the Lakers to amnesty Metta and Young will be expected to take the starting small forward position.
It is a sad thing to hear that World Peace will no longer be wearing purple and gold on the court with all the memories that Laker fans will be left with. Kobe Bryant said it himself, there is no game 7 without World Peace referring to the game 7 against the Boston Celtics in 2010.
The formerly known Ron Artest, who was involved in one of the biggest sports brawls in history when he was playing for the Indiana Pacers, has definitely come a long way. He has become a fan favorite on and off the court in Los Angeles. He is a player that will always be cheered for even when wearing a different jersey. It was just a few years ago that he had a couple of confrontations with Bryant on the court but he then chose to join the Lakers and helped them win a championship.
World Peace could be playing for a number of teams next season. A team with cap space that bids for him like the Sacramento Kings, Detroit Pistons, and Cleveland Cavaliers, or maybe a team like the New York Knicks which has been said to have a lot of interest if Metta can clear waivers but he recently told Dave McMenamin, Lakers beat writer for ESPN that he is interested in playing in China and that was his number one priority. Whatever team he ends up with it will be difficult for Laker fans to cheer against him. There will definitely be a big standing ovation for him whenever it is that he returns to the Staples Center. He became one of those Lakers that deep inside will be a Laker for life.
(US Presswire/Mark L. Baer)
By Kevin R. Linares
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed shooting guard Nick Young. There were earlier reports that the Lakers and Young had mutual interest but it was not clear if he would take the veterans minimum contract if there were other lucrative offers to him but he has now decided on the Lakers. His agent Mark Bartelstein said it was always a dream of Young to become a Laker.
The Lakers are full of guards now and Young is one that can play at small forward with his size if needed. Young will be a great addition bringing in youth and athleticism to a team that really needs it. The former USC Trojan was drafted by the Washington Wizards in 2007 and has played for the Los Angeles Clippers and most recently with the Philadelphia 76ers. Last season with the 76ers Young averaged 10.6 points per game and has a career average of 11.3 points per game. He is known to be a weapon offensively but has needed a lot of work on his defensive game.
Young will be the second player and second former Clipper that the purple and gold will bring in after signing center Chris Kaman to a one year deal with their mini mid-level exception. The Lakers still intend to sign point guard Jordan Farmar but are still negotiating a buyout with his team Anadolu Efes from the Turkish Basketball League.
There has still been no final decision made on the Lakers using their amnesty clause on Metta World Peace who has been linked to the New York Knicks if he were to be amnestied. Another free agent the team was reportedly targeting is former Laker Lamar Odom but chatter on that possibly happening has died down. Although he has not played the same since being traded by the Lakers to the Mavericks in the aftermath of the vetoed trade for Chris Paul he would be a great pick up for the team because of his ability to play more than one position.
An interesting perspective of these last three moves by the Lakers is that Dwight Howard left the team and money on the table for the Houston Rockets. Kaman, Farmar and Young have all chosen to come play for the Lakers with them having the possibility to make more money elsewhere.