• Parth Goradia

The Free Agency Profile for the Los Angeles Lakers


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*Photo via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers (21-61) – (5th Pacific Division, 14th Western Conference)

Season Summary:

The Los Angeles Lakers, one the most storied franchises in the NBA, has fallen from the NBA’s elite. After raising banners 15 and 16 in 2009 and 2010 respectively, the Lakers have had consecutive seasons losing at least 55 games.

The 2014-15 season started with a nationally televised game on TNT, in which 2014 first-round pick, Julius Randle, was stretchered off the court with a broken leg midway through the fourth quarter. To make matters worse, Kobe Bryant, after coming back from a ruptured Achilles’ two seasons ago and a fractured knee last season, was ruled out for the year after 35 games with a torn rotator cuff. That may have been the end of the Mamba’s NBA season, but he still made an impact during the year. He had an incredibly fascinating interview with Ahmad Rashad for NBATV and a compelling documentary which aired on Showtime. Both of those television programs were more exciting than anything the Lakers did on the court the entire season.

The season wasn’t all bad (only 95% was bad), as the Lakers found a reliable player in guard, Jordan Clarkson. The Lakers had positioned themselves to land the fourth pick in the draft when ping pong balls, unlike any basketball, bounced in favor of Los Angeles and they ended up with pick number two and selected guard D’Angelo Russell, doeeee, doeeeeeeeeee.

With Russell, Clarkson and returners Randle and Bryant, the Lakers have something to look forward to in 2015-16. Just kidding, but they do have cap space!

Cap Space: $28,507,816

Los Angeles has $43,007,816 in luxury tax space.

Free Agents:

G Vander Blue (Unrestricted)

The Lakers drafted Anthony Brown and have Jabari Brown on a non-guaranteed contract. Blue will not be wearing purple and gold next season.

F Carlos Boozer (Unrestricted)

What happened to the Carlos Boozer that played for the Utah Jazz? He won’t be returning.

F Ed Davis (Unrestricted)

Ed Davis was a bargain for the Lakers this past season. Now he wants a new contract in the range of $7 to $10 million with the Lakers. I think he gets it after the Lakers strike out on other big name free agents.

G Wayne Ellington (Unrestricted)

See Vander Blue.

F/C Jordan Hill (Unrestricted)

The Lakers declined to pick up his team option. Safe to say Jordan Hill will have a new home.

F Wesley Johnson (Unrestricted)

Johnson is a super athletic wing who is an inconsistent basketball player. There is a possibility of a return to LA, but in a different uniform.

G Jeremy Lin (Unrestricted)

Linsanity was only three years ago? Really? He won’t be back.

G Ronnie Price (Unrestricted)

Enjoy. You figure it out if he’s staying.

Team Needs:

Superstar – The Lakers want and need someone to be the alpha male as Kobe’s career winds down.

Veteran Guard – Currently their roster is comprised of either past their prime guards or young guards. A guard in his late 20’s or early 30’s could help Kobe mentor the young guns.

Center – With the Lakers not picking up Jordan Hill’s team option, their current starting center is Robert Sacre. He’s a bench player who has fantastic celebrations, but not someone who should be in the rotation.

Wing – Do you trust Swaggy P?

Possible Targets:

C DeMarcus Cousins – The Sacramento Kings and LA Lakers discussed shipping Cousins to LA. Talks have died down of as of late but the Lakers would surely make a deal for Boogie who is arguably the best center in the league.

C DeAndre Jordan – Jordan is the most athletic center in the league. A defensive force who can’t do much offensively other than throw down the hammer on everyone. He has stated he wants a four year deal with an opt out after the third and to be a big part of the offense.

F LaMarcus Aldridge – Aldridge has already crossed the Lakers off his list.

F Greg Monroe – A low post bruiser who has a solid under the basket game. Similar game to Julius Randle, but may be an option if bigger names are off the board.

G Rajon Rondo – Rondo is pass first point guard who Kobe Bryant gets along with. His tenure as a member of the Dallas Mavericks ended on a sour note, but can still be an effective player when he’s locked in.

F Tobias Harris – The former Orlando Magic swingman is a restricted free agent who the Magic will not match offers for if they are close to the max. Lakers could find their long term small forward.

G Jimmy Butler – Butler agreed to re-sign with the Chicago Bulls.

F Kevin Love – $110 million to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

F Corey Brewer – Brewer is what the Lakers hoped Wesley Johnson could be. This would be a major upgrade.

http://www.spotrac.com/nba/los-angeles-lakers/cap/

http://espn.go.com/nba/team/stats/_/name/lal

http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/LAL/2015.html

http://hoopshype.com/player/wesley-johnson/

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/03/all-22-of-kobe-bryants-career-injuries-in-one-painful-infographic

http://www.nba.com/freeagents/2015/

http://www.cbssports.com/nba/eye-on-basketball/25220492/report-lakers-ed-davis-seeking-7-10-million-per-year-in-free-agency

http://www.silverscreenandroll.com/2015/6/28/8859641/la-lakers-tobias-harris-free-agency-demmarre-carrol-nba-small-forwards

http://www.chatsports.com/los-angeles-lakers/a/Lakers-Rumors-Los-Angeles-Top-5-Free-Agent-Targets-Are-7552

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