With Phil Jackson back in the fold and Steve Blake having soaked up most of the Lakers' mid-level exception, attention now turns to filling out the low-cost end of the roster. Over at Yahoo!, Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Lakers are asking Derek Fisher to accept a one-year deal for $2.5 million, which leaves ample space between the team's bid and Fish's ask of $10 million over two years.
Once the Fish situation is resolved, Woj reports, the Lakers will attempt to bring Raja Bell on board with what's left of their MLE money. Bell made $5.25 million last year but played in only six games for Charlotte and Golden State thanks to a season-ending wrist surgery. He's also 34 years old and was eventually waived by Golden State in March. He can probably still shoot, though - he's made at least 40% of his threes six years running - and he was second team NBA All Defense as recently as 2008, so as a possible addition to the bench, this isn't a terrible idea. Raja did state last week that signing with the Miami Heat would be his first choice.
A couple other Laker-related stories this post-holiday Monday morning....
Mike Miller - is a guy we should be relieved the team didn't sign, according to Tom Ziller over at NBA Fanhouse.
Everything changed when Miller was traded to Minnesota in 2008. He went from a deadly gunner to a. . . wannabe Scottie Pippen? A performance artist protesting the commodization of his pure stroke? I just don't know. . . . Why anyone would think Miller is still that which the name Mike Miller once represented is beyond me. Plenty of free agents can do what the new Miller does - rebound, spread the ball, be a roleplayer in every sense of the word - and for a lot cheaper than what Miller is purportedly commanding.
Rafael Nadal - had some kind words for his fellow countryman Pau Gasol after winning Wimbledon over the weekend.
The NBA Summer League - has started play in Orlando this morning. No Lakers are in action, but this is the closest we'll get to pro quality hoops until the FIBA world championships start, so if you're a junkie looking for a fix, you should check it out. Most of the games are on NBA TV. There's also a summer league broadband subscription you can buy for $14.95.
The summer league is great for getting a first look at rookies. Right now, for instance, Charlotte and Utah are in the fourth quarter, and the latter's first-round pick, Gordon Hayward, is struggling. Later today, Lance Stephenson and Paul George will be in action for Indiana, and the late game of New Jersey vs Philly will showcase top 3 picks Derrick Favors and Evan Turner. If your tastes run more to promising NBA vets, watch the OKC squad at 2:00 p.m. Cali time. Eric Maynor, James Harden and Serge Ibaka will be holding it down for the Thunder.
As the summer league progresses, I encourage you all to keep an eye on our splendid sister publication, Ridiculous Upside. They've got comprehensive coverage both at the site and on their Twitter feed, @rubasketball. You shan't regret it.
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