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Pacific Notes: Karl, Barnes, Lakers

Magic Johnson casts a shadow over the Lakers organization even though he’s no longer a part of it in any way, having sold his minority ownership share, as Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding examines. Johnson doesn’t have a relationship with any of the members of the Buss family who control the franchise aside from Jeanie, the team’s Board of Governors representative, with whom he remains close, according to Ding. The Busses have always insisted that the team isn’t for sale, but Johnson would be a prime candidate to front a bid for the Lakers if they ever became available, Ding writes. There’s more on the Lakers amid our look around the Pacific Division:

  • George Karl admits he has a great degree of fondness for his former players on the Nuggets, observes Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck heard in February that Karl would love for the Kings to acquire Ty Lawson or any of the players he coached on the 2012/13 Nuggets, his last NBA team, but it’s uncertain how much influence, if any, Karl has under new basketball operations chief Vlade Divac.
  • Defense, leadership and career-best 36.7% three-point shooting this year are the hallmarks of what’s been perhaps Matt Barnes‘ best NBA season, as Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times details. The timing is fortuitous for the Clippers small forward, whose salary of almost $3.543MM for next season is only guaranteed for $1MM.
  • Baxter Holmes of examines the conundrum the Lakers face as Rajon Rondo looms as a likely free agent target while incumbent point guard Jordan Clarkson exceeds expectations.

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