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Sources: Lakers Offer O’Neal $95.5 Million For 7 Years

Sat., July 13, 1996, midnight

The Lakers have made what figures to be their best and final offer to Shaquille O’Neal, sources told the Los Angeles Times on Friday, a seven-year, $95.5-million package with an out clause after the third season that would allow the free-agent center the chance to recoup whatever money he loses by not re-signing with the Orlando Magic.

No decision from O’Neal is imminent, so the Lakers almost certainly will have to wait until at least early next week before getting a definitive response, all the while growing more uneasy at the possibility of losing out on their No. 1 target and several of the secondary options.

One favorite from the “B” list, Dale Davis, could very well be back with the Indiana Pacers by Sunday night unless L.A. makes a serious move in his direction before then.

This comes as the agent for O’Neal, Leonard Armato, reaffirms a previous statement that teams have until next Friday to make bids, meaning that a resolution before then is also very unlikely.

A circuit judge approved a second paternity lawsuit involving Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

Larry Johnson’s agent said the Charlotte Hornets forward is headed for New York and is excited about the move. “It’s a done deal,” agent George Bass said.

NBA free-agent forward Brian Williams was fined $1,200 for having a marijuana pipe in his luggage, according to customs officials in the Cayman Islands.

“It was an empty pipe, there was nothing in it. It could have been used for anything,” Williams said.

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