L.A Lakers executives Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss are ready to begin their respective vacations this week after a busy summer that saw the team pull off 2 blockbuster deals to procure Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, but before the lights went out in the Lakers offices there were a couple of minor moves to look after Monday.
The Lakers officially signed guard Jodie Meeks after getting used to the free agent last week and also officially inked Devin Ebanks, after initially agreeing to a new deal the small forward more than one month ago.
Meeks confirmed a 2-year deal; with the 1st year at $1.4 million and the 2nd being a Lakers’ team option that could be worth up to $2 million with motivations, according to his agent David Bauman, who also serves as Ebanks’ agent.
Ebanks agreed to a one year handle the Lakers worth $1,085,000, according to Bauman.
“I’m confident things will work themselves out in the future in L.A. For Jodie,” Bauman, who also represents Lakers forward Metta World Peace, said in a phone interview.
Meeks, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard out of Kentucky, has career averages of 8.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in his 3 seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers. Las Vegas odds
Meeks is a career 37.1% shooter from 3-point range. Over 50 percent of his made field goals last season for the Sixers were from beyond the arc (97 of 191).
Ebanks, who turns 23 years old in October, averaged 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds last year for the Lakers in his 2nd season after being drafted in the 2nd round out of West Virginia in 2010. He started 12 games, beginning the season as the starting small forward over World Peace and later filling in for Kobe Bryant for five games when Bryant was out with a left shin injury late in the year. Ebanks averaged 6.4 points and 3.2 rebounds on 47.8% shooting as a starter.
Ebanks had accepted the Lakers’ qualifying offer back in the 1st week of July, but held off on officially signing the agreement for 2 reasons.
First, he knew the Lakers were active players in the trade market and his new agreement could end up facilitating a agreement should he sign it before the dust had settled on all their major moves. Secondly, by waiting, Ebanks had more time to buy his services to other teams around the league looking for a more lucrative contract.
“We fundamentally made the decision to hold off and yet the Lakers always said to us that ‘Devin, we think you’re an important part our team,’” said Bauman.
The signings bring the Lakers’ roster to 14 players for next season out of a maximum 15 spots.
There is currently a logjam at point guard with Nash, Steve Blake, Darius Morris, Chris Duhon (who was purchased in the Howard deal) in the mix, as well as combo guard Andrew Goudelock, whose 2012-13 contract isn’t fully guaranteed.