The Lakers got down to the 12-man NBA roster limit Wednesday by selling second-year guard Adrian Branch to the New Jersey Nets. The amount of cash was undisclosed, but it probably wasn't more than the minimum $75,000 salary Branch was earning.
The Lakers also placed forward Billy Thompson on the injured list, where he must remain for a minimum of five games. Thompson hasn't played since suffering a hyperextended left knee, as well as a deep bruise below the kneecap, in the playoffs last April.
Thompson's absence meant that guard Milt Wagner, his high school teammate in Camden, N.J., and at the University of Louisville, will start the season on the Laker roster.
Branch, a 6-foot 7-inch, 190-pound swingman from Maryland, appeared in 32 games for the Lakers last season. He averaged 4.3 points a game, with a high of 12 against Sacramento.