Los Angeles Lakers bring back Ryan Kelly, Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, waive Kendall Marshall

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error With all of these moves, it appears the Lakers offseason work is nearly complete.Well, almost. They still have not hired a coach. Byron Scott, the perceived favorite candidate has yet to hear from the Lakers after having his third interview on Wednesday. But the Lakers currently have a 12 players on guaranteed deals Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Julius Randle, Robert Sacre, Jeremy Lin, Nick Young,Jordan Hill, Carlos Boozer, Ed Davis, Henry, Johnson and Kelly. Second-round draft pick Jordan Clarkson has a non-guaranteed deal. The Lakers waived point guard Kendall Marshall on Friday, according to league sources, and the reasons hardly stemmed from averaging 8.3 points on 31.4 percent shooting, three assists and 2.8 turnovers through four games in Las Vegas Summer League play. Or his eight points and 8.8 assists through 54 games last season that featured inconsistent shooting and defense. Although Marshall was slated to make a relatively inexpensive $915,243 next season on a non-guaranteed contract, his vacancy cleared some cap space to accommodate the Lakers’ other moves.Both the Lakers and Marshall have interest in re-signing his contract if he clears waivers, according to league sources. But another team may claim him first. NBA teams can carry as many as 15 players on their roster. Band of brothers The bond grew stronger through two NBA championships. The cement stayed firm amid the losing, injuries and trade uncertainty. Yet, after Bryant spend years the Lakers not to trade Pau Gasol away, Gasol told Bryant he would leave. Gasol signed with the Chicago Bulls to a reported three-year, $22 million deal, marking a relative paycut that he attracted elsewhere, including the Lakers. “It was difficult. We have a close friendship,” Gasol said of Bryant to reporters on Friday in Chicago. “I’ll miss him. We talked to each other and our relationship goes beyond basketball. We’ll always have a friendship.”Bryant supported Gasol’s free agent decision even if it meant they would no longer play together. “Pau is extremely loyal and it’s a very tough position to be in as a free agent,” Bryant said last week at his camp in Santa Barbara. “My biggest message to him was, ’To make sure you enjoy the process. Don’t stress yourself out. The ball is in your court and your decision to make.’”It appeared Bryant still felt that way after Gasol informed him about his departure. “It was difficult to talk to him,” Gasol said of Bryant. “But he was very supportive. He understood and he just said, ‘I had to do what was best for me and felt right for me.’ He was going to support me no matter what. That’s what friends and brothers do.”center_img A flurry of agreements and signings have happened, the Lakers’ response to the failed LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes operating at full speed. The latest included the Lakers on Friday agreeing to bring back forwards Ryan Kelly, Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry. The terms were not readily available, but Kelly’s deal is guaranteed for two years, while the Henry and Johnson contracts were both believed to be one-year deals worth $1 million each. Kelly’s return was the most expected after the Lakers gave him a $1.1 million qualifying offer to make him a restricted agent, allowing them to match any offer he recived from other teams. After the Lakers selected him with the 48th pick of the 2013 NBA draft, Kelly impressed the Lakers with his floor spacing, basketball IQ and shooting. All of those qualities contributed toward averaging eight points on 42.3 percent shooting and 33.8 percent from three-point range.Henry’s return also adds needed depth at the small forward spot after averaging 10 points per game last season with bursts of athleticism and aggressiveness. Henry is currently recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee and left wrist, injuries that kept him out for a combined 39 games. Henry said last month that he expects to heal by late July. Johnson’s return to the Lakers seemed the most surprising. The Lakers did not consider him a priority after averaging 9.1 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting last season amid inconsistent offensive and defensive performances. But the Lakers were willing to keep Johnson because of his age (27), athleticism and being a good teammate.last_img

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