The Lakers have been involved in many of the NBA free agent story lines, but have come up empty handed. Since the Lakers added three first-round draft picks they have been quiet this off-season.
Rumors have swirled linking the Lakers to Paul George. However, it appears the Lakers were willing to wait until his 2018 free agency to make their pitch, rather than give up assets to acquire George. Even though George will play next season for the Thunder, all signs point to the Lakers continuing to be in contention to sign him next summer.
Here’s a look at the Lakers roster. Free agents (who are still being considered) and rookies are noted on the depth chart. Nick Young is headed to the Warriors, while Metta World Peace appears unlikely to return. The starting lineup is a projection based on their current roster.
C- Brook Lopez, Ivica Zubac, Thomas Bryant (R)
PF- Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr., Thomas Robinson (FA), Kyle Kuzma (R)
SF- Brandon Ingram, Luol Deng, Corey Brewer
SG- Jordan Clarkson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Josh Hart (R), David Nwaba
PG- Lonzo Ball (R), Tyler Ennis (FA)
Los Angeles has been linked to Jamal Crawford, but Crawford would need to receive a buyout from the Hawks to be able to sign with the Lakers. They were also in discussions with Dion Waiters, but Waiters decided to remain with the Heat.
As ESPN’s Bobby Marks has pointed out, teams overspending in 2016 has caused quality players to not get contract offers so far this off-season. The Lakers could benefit from some bargain shopping as free agency continues to drag on, and players are unable to find the type of deals they were originally looking for when free agency began.
According to Spotrac, the Lakers could have an estimated $51 million in cap space next season. This would put them into close contention for signing two marquee free agents next off-season.
Any players the Lakers sign this off-season to longer than one-year deals could put next year’s plan in jeopardy.