Press Enterprise: This week the Lakers and Clippers will enter the free-agent market, both teams shopping for players and looking to improve.

The problem is that this year’s free-agent class is not considered strong. The only All-Star-caliber talent available is Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison, both of the Washington Wizards, and they will be commanding the kind of money that the Lakers and Clippers aren’t expected to spend this summer.

The Lakers, who reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 2004, like their young team and aren’t expected to make big changes. Their top priority is to re-sign two of their key backups, guard Sasha Vujacic and forward Ronny Turiaf, and the Lakers’ course this summer largely “is going to depend on the progress we make with Sasha and Ronny,” said General Manager Mitch Kupchak, who will begin negotiations Monday at 9:01 p.m., the opening of the free-agent period. Teams can start signing players July 9.

Because both Vujacic and Turiaf are restricted free agents, the Lakers can retain them by matching any offers they get from other teams.

Vujacic, 24 and coming off a career year in which he averaged 8.8 points and was eighth in the league in three-point shooting (43.7 percent), might get offers from $4 million to $5 million per year. He might be seeking as much as $5.8 million.

Turiaf, who’s 25 and also had career highs in points (6.6) and rebounds (3.9), could command $3.5 million to $4 million.

Contiune reading ‘Lakers’ priority: Keep team together’

  • DCLAKER

    Pietrus and where done.

  • lakerschamps08

    yea keep team together but u need to add two more players to win the ship…

  • L.A.alltheway

    I think to beat the celtics again next year we definitely need more then just “keep team together”, when you really think about it, the celtics have Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce witch together are almost unstoppable, and to add to that they have a great bench with Posey and House.

    What do We Have To Rival that besides Kobe? Yeah he is the MVP and Arguably the Best Basketball Player in the Current World, but 1 guy does not make a championship, even Jordan had Pippen, Kobe cannot do it alone, Pau is Also Good, and Bynum is a strong young player who will mature into one of the NBA’s Best Centers, but for now we have Odom and Radmonovic, Luke Walton and Turiaf?

    We Need a Strong Veteran Player (To Replace Lamar), for Sure if we stand any chance of winning anything in the close future.

  • L.A.alltheway

    we need kwame brown is what im trying to put out there

  • awaker85

    Since we are in a position where it would be ok to take some risks, how bout signing Shawn Livingston??? If he comes back from his injury and gets as good as he was pre-injury and even better (he’s still super young) he would be a HUGE asset. And I personally don’t really think we need any more small forwards. We just need Odom and Ariza to do nothing all summer except work on defense and shooting and we are good.

  • http://www.jamieinsider.com Jack

    1. Resign Sasha and Ronny.
    2. Sign Kwame for minimum =).

  • http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9139 all-bout-lal

    trade lamar for tayshuan prince, and we’re set

  • LakersNo1

    Keep the team together means we will reach the finals but will not win champ. Let’s not be like Piston please!

  • KONG!

    [Comment ID #42640 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Sho’ nuff

  • http://www.thelakersnation.com Fred A.

    GET ARTEST 4 Walton/Radmonivic/ then we are set ready to go!!!!!!!!! :0

  • Daryl Imhoff

    The picture will be more well defined tomorrow when those players who can opt out must decide to stay or test free agency. Sasha and Ronny may price themselves out of the Lakers plans and them other options will need to be explored.

  • Freshh

    Landry Pietrus Artest Diop Posey

    take ur pick

  • Kwamey

    were not getting anywhere without kwame brown, we need him back

  • http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9139 all-bout-lal

    NXT OFFSEASON IS GANNA BE CRAZY
    possible laker free agents for 2009-2010 season

    kobe,ariza,sasha,turiaf,farmer,bynum, mihm

  • http://hoopshype.com/salaries/la_lakers.htm all-bout-lal
  • DCLAKER

    What about Charlie Villanueva and Desmond Mason for Vlad and Mihm,Damn!We’d really BEAST – OUT ON EVERYBODY!

  • daboss1849

    [Comment ID #42650 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Were looking good for 2011. we have no one signed except Luke walton. Guaranteed championship!!! LOL

  • http://xat.com/lakernation lakers-r-pimpilicous

    this is how desperate utah is
    http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,700238975,00.html

    At Saturday’s mini-camp debut of the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team in Las Vegas, Boozer wasn’t in a talking mood about last week’s rumblings involving the Heat, but Jazz/USA teammate Deron Williams was a willing contributor to conversations.

    After next season, Boozer can opt out of the final year of his current six-year, $68 million contract with the Jazz and negotiate a potential six-year deal worth an estimated to $136 million

  • http://www.hard-wood.org/?cat=34 Billy Kupchak

    [Comment ID #42627 Will Be Quoted Here]

    where is it done? :D

  • http://xat.com/lakernation lakers-r-pimpilicous

    lakers-r-pimpilicous
    Jun 28th, 2008 at 7:01 pm
    hoopsworld.com-
    will look to trade Luke Walton, possibly with Chris Mihm to balance salaries. They re-sign Sasha Vujacic to a $22 million contract over five years. They also keep Ronny Turiaf for three years at $9.5 million. Guess who else returns at a discount? That’s right . . . Kwame Brown. Lamar Odom is on the team opening night, starting at small forward.

  • L.A.alltheway

    TRADE L.O. FOR KWAME BROWN!

  • lakers-r-pimpilicous

    that would be a steal, good thinking

  • SliqRiq

    Agree we do need to bring back Kwame!!!!!

  • http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=9168 lakers-r-pimpilicous

    heres the salary capinfo, curtesoy of hoopsworld.com

    By: HOOPSWORLD Staff Last Updated: 6/25/08 7:09 PM ET | 290 times read

    Adjust font size:Los Angeles Lakers – Salary Cap Information

    Key: Player Option / Early Termination Option / Team Option / Qualifying Offer

    Player 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13
    Kobe Bryant $19,490,625 $21,262,500 $23,034,375 $24,806,250
    Pau Gasol $13,735,000 $15,106,000 $16,452,000 $17,823,000
    Lamar Odom $13,248,596 $14,148,596
    Vladimir Radmanovic $5,632,200 $6,049,400 $6,466,600 $6,883,800
    Derek Fisher $4,352,000
    Luke Walton $4,000,000 $4,420,000 $4,840,000 $5,260,000 $5,680,000 $6,100,000
    Trevor Ariza $3,100,000 $3,100,000
    Chris Mihm $2,500,000 $2,762,500
    Andrew Bynum $2,172,000 $2,769,300 $3,771,786
    Sasha Vujacic $1,756,951 $2,605,559
    Jordan Farmar $1,009,560 $1,080,000 $1,947,240 $2,847,126
    Ronny Turiaf $770,610
    Coby Karl $427,163 $711,517
    D.J. Mbenga $90,660
    TOTAL $72,285,365 $74,015,372 $56,512,001 $54,920,176 $5,680,000 $6,100,000

  • DCLAKER

    Billy,as soon as 9:02 am on Monday(after Sasha signs)hits call Mullin and make an offer but in the meantime inbetween…..CHECK “MICKAEL PIETRUS HIGHLIGHT REEL 07-08″on YOUTUBE and LET AIR FRANCE SET YOU FREE!!!

  • KOBEISKING

    are you guys high? sign kwame? i’d rather sign a sack of dirt first

  • Sako

    Anybody wanting Kwame Brown back better put down the pipe, and get help, MAJOR help. Remember how much we hated this guy. He couldn’t catch the ball, it was as though he’d rub handfuls of Vaseline during time-outs to purposely not catch the ball. He has nothing inside that say’s “I want to win. I want to be an all-star. I want to help my team win a championship.” His hands are small, he couldn’t dunk.

    Remember when he was playing for the Wizards. During Playoff time, he skipped with a supposed stomach ailment, only to be seen later that night at a Chinese eatery. Now does this sound like a guy who’s supposed to be part of a Championship puzzle?

  • DCLAKER

    Testify Sako!I live in DC and have bare witnessed to alot of those Wizards games live on tv and at home,when he came to The Lakers….OH THE HORROR!I still get tears in my eyes when I see Caron with a Wiz uniform…..AND THE WIZ ARE 2ND FAVORITE TEAM(hometeam of course)!!!

  • lakersno834

    KEEPING THE TEAM TOGETHER IS GOOD AND ALL.. BUT KEEP IN MIND, IF ONE OF THEM GETS INJURED (LIKELY Bynum and Gasol/Lamar) We are back in the same position again.. Remember how badly we missed having AB and Ariza (100%)

  • Sako

    [Comment ID #42670 Will Be Quoted Here]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwame_Brown

    “During the first round of the 2005 playoffs, in which they played against the Chicago Bulls, the Wizards played a video before their first game of the series, in which Arenas instructed the fans not to boo Brown when he entered the game. The fans complied, even though Brown played only four minutes in the game. In the next several days after the game, Brown skipped a practice and a shootaround, as well as the next game, claiming that he thought he would punch Arenas if he entered the game. He skipped another practice with a supposed stomach ailment, only to be seen later that night at a Chinese eatery. The Wizards responded by suspending Brown for the rest of the playoffs.”

  • Parich

    Yes, yes, very funny Lakers, “keep the team together?” Keep the team together and they will lose in the finals again UNLESS they commit themselves (including the coaches) to becoming a premier defensive team. If not defense, and no changes, the management can kiss itself good bye. They can either start playing defense like the Spurs and Celtics do, or forget everything. Defense wins championships. The Celts, Pistons, and Spurs proved it.

  • Nabil

    Okay, please stop with all this Kwame talk. It’s bringing up bad memories for everyone.

    I agree that Kobe needs his Pippen at this point if we are going to make a dynasty of this. That means an ATHELETIC defensive monster on the wing who can also knock down the outside shot and create on his own to help Kobe conserve his energy. Also, a professional who works hard day in and day out and inspires others to do the same. The day after they were kicked out of the playoffs, Scottie was back in the gym working out with Horrace Grant.

    Lamar is NOT this kind of player. (It’s okay, most guys aren’t). I don’t think Artest is either (although he’s got some of the qualities). I think the closest thing we can get is Prince. Other choices I like better then Artest are Marion or Butler. I think that’s it. That’s the short list:
    – Prince, Marion, Butler, Artest
    Get one of those guys and we got a dynasty.

  • Parich

    Uh, BTW, having the front court of Bynum, Gasol, and Odom is a DREAM. Understand? Dream on Lakers. Yes, it sounds great in our imaginations, but not in reality. A team’s starting 5 usually needs at least 3 players that can shoot consistently from the outside, preferably from 3-point range. 7’1″ + 7’0″ + 6’10” front court SOUNDS great, but with that much size you also give up mobility (speed) and shooting. Are you telling the Laker fans that Lamar will suddenly become a sharpshooter by next year? We don’t think so, at least not until we see that happen.

    With a starting 5 of Kobe, D-Fish, and the dream front-court, the team can’t operate efficiently enough. Think, think, what’s the freakin’ use of having those 3 front court players when [[all that’s going to happen is they’ll crowd each other in the post?]] You think teams will stretch their defenders out to Odom or Pau while Bynum is inside? Heck NO.

    Get Marion/Artest and then improve the point guard position. We desperately need a fast, defensive-minded SF that is a threat from 3 point range. Then a point guard that can: break down defenses, threaten with 3 point shooting, and contain other guards.

  • Nabil

    Word.

  • west213

    [Comment ID #42666 Will Be Quoted Here]

    LMAOOOOOO

  • west213

    guys dont forget we got drew coming back next season…….we were almost there to win it alll but we missed drew…….when drew is 100% back we wont even need artest…..trust me drew will OWN every center and PF

  • SliqRiq

    [Comment ID #42666 Will Be Quoted Here]

    We dont need Kwame’s offense, but we do need his defense and strength inside!!!!!!

  • http://- Kobefan11

    DCLAKER
    Jun 29th, 2008 at 10:08 pm Click this link to quote this comment in your reply

    Testify Sako!I live in DC and have bare witnessed to alot of those Wizards games live on tv and at home,when he came to The Lakers….OH THE HORROR!I still get tears in my eyes when I see Caron with a Wiz uniform…..AND THE WIZ ARE 2ND FAVORITE TEAM(hometeam of course)!!!

    I miss Wizair too! :(

  • Sako

    [Comment ID #42684 Will Be Quoted Here]

    I guess it’ll be easy to work out a system where nobody passes him the ball or gives him a chance to get the offensive rebound.

  • http://andrewbynum.com candace parker

    for defensive purposes
    sign ron artest
    get rick fox and dennis rodman to teach defense

  • lakerschamps08

    umm idk wat gonna happen. but its gonna be hard to win the ship with this team cuz if LO is SF teams WILL LEAVE HIM OPEN ALL DAY and he cant shoot 3s… but in the end if we want artest then kobe and lo need to convince him to come to LA u know to show artest that he is wanted…. ohh and for fun get dennis rodman cuz he wont let people punk him or his teammates around like LO does….

  • Sako

    [Comment ID #42696 Will Be Quoted Here]

    Amen to that.

  • lakers-r-pimpilicous