The Los Angeles Lakers have a number of top free agent targets on their radar as they inch closer to the start of free agency. Among those rumored have been superstars Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and – oddly enough – D’Angelo Russell.
While rumors have been flying regarding where each of the players wants to/will end up, let’s take a look at the latest information for each and see just exactly what is going down with the Lakers top free agency targets.
Lakers Free Agency Tracker: Kawhi Leonard Set for Meeting
Kawhi Leonard was announced to be taking a meeting with the Clippers on July 2nd, yet no official word has come out regarding his reported meeting with the Lakers. While NBA insider Arye Abraham reported that the meeting is set, we sill have to wait to find out exactly when it might be. It is unknown how Kawhi plans to stagger out his free agency meetings and there could be a chance that the Lakers wind up pitching Leonard on the same day as the Clippers.
Leonard is also giving his current team, the Toronto Raptors, serious consideration as they are by far the heavy betting favorite to keep the Finals MVP. Leonard has seemed to enjoy living in Toronto and the fan base has fully embraced him as one of their own. Outside of the bigger contract that Toronto can offer, the fan base has offered Leonard things like a free condo, a sponsorship deal with the company that gave Drake his own plane, and food.
Leonard has been his usual quiet self regarding his free agency plans and if we know one thing for sure, it is nobody knows ANYTHING concrete on what Kawhi Leonard is thinking.
Lakers Free Agency Tracker: Brooklyn Favorites for Kyrie Irving
Kyrie has been reportedly linked to the Lakers for a considerable amount of time now, dating all the way back to the beginning of the playoffs. While Kyrie is heavily favored to take his talents to Brooklyn, the Lakers have remained in the running as a potential landing spot and are aggressively pursuing a reunion of James and Irving.
However, if Irving goes to the Nets or not has some serious free agency implications on the Lakers. While they may lose out on Irving, his loss opens the door for another free agent target – and one who they can grab at a lower cost.
Lakers Free Agency Tracker: D’Angelo Russell A Suprise Free Agent Target
One of the more interesting names the Lakers have been linked to is restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell. If the Nets bring on Kyrie Irving, Russell looks to be the odd man out. Sharing not only a position but an extremely similar style of play, it would be difficult for the two to co-exist on the same floor and the Nets would be better off allocating that money to building a strong contender around Irving (or by bringing on another max contract superstar.
While a reunion with the Lakers seems strange for Russell after being traded in a salary dump, PBO Magic Johnson is gone and Russell seems to have no ill will towards the franchise. If the Nets renounce Russell’s rights in order to go after other free agents, expect the Lakers to jump in and make a play.