1st post- Are they gonna resign Mark Madsen, or any of their other free-agents, because in this article, if seems like the Lakers really aren't concerned about them...:
Lakers eye Payton, P.J. Brown
A sticking point for both could be the amount of money available under the salary cap.
By KEVIN DING
The Orange County Register
With the free-agency game on, the Lakers have set out after two of their top priorities: guard Gary Payton and power forward P.J. Brown.
Although free agents cannot sign with new teams until July 16, they can now begin negotiations. Even though the Lakers are committed to upgrading their frontcourt this summer, they very much want Payton, who turns 35 this month.
There is some belief in the organization that Payton would be a much better fit than Utah power forward Karl Malone, who also has been targeted by the Lakers.
A nine-time All-Star, Payton is a stellar defensive player who is especially respected by Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.
The major stumbling block, as is the case for the Lakers with all their big-name targets, is money.
But Payton's best chance for big money near his 2002-03 salary of $12.6 million - returning to the Milwaukee Bucks - is in question given recent instability regarding the Bucks' management.
In lieu of a trade, the Lakers' best offers are the mid-level salary-cap exception ($4.55 million last season and projected to be slightly more this season) and the veteran's exception ($1.5 million).
Since the start of free agency Tuesday, the Lakers also have been in contact with Brown and Brad Miller.
Miller, 27, primarily a center who gained notice in these parts for his 2002 fight with Shaquille O'Neal, was a first-time All-Star in 2003, averaging 13.1 points and 8.3 rebounds for Indiana.
With the free-agent market now open, Robert Horry, Mark Madsen, Brian Shaw, Samaki Walker and Tracy Murray are officially no longer the Lakers' property.