The appeal of the Los Angeles Lakers in 2019 NBA free agency is picking up steam and doing so quickly. While it’s unknown whether the team will be able to land a max-level option such as Kawhi Leonard or Kyrie Irving, it appears the interest is high among a number of players. The Lakers look prepared to put on a full-court press to sign their top targets, but they shouldn’t have an issue filling out the rest of the roster.
When ESPN’s Brian Windhorst joined the Stephen A. Smith Show ahead of free agency, he was speaking about the Lakers’ chances to sign Leonard and offered a quick tidbit that stood out. According to Windhorst, players are “lining up” to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Los Angeles.
“There are guys out there who are lining up to join the Lakers, even if they’re on minimum contracts. Guys want to join this team, they want to be a part of this team, there’s a momentum there.” Windhorst stated.
He proceeds to state that the Lakers want Leonard or Irving and if they can’t get either player that the attention would then shift to breaking up their cap space among multiple players.
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Lakers’ Free Agent Targets: DeAndre Jordan, Marcus Morris
While both Leonard and Irving have been the top names attached to the Lakers since free agency chatter ramped up, many others are also in the mix. This includes D’Angelo Russell, who the team previously traded to the Brooklyn Nets, as well as Philadelphia 76ers guard Jimmy Butler. Obviously, if the Lakers were to land either Leonard or Irving, they wouldn’t be able to afford the other two options.
Beyond the max-level options, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Oliver Maroney’s ‘Positionless’ podcast (via Ballislife) that the Lakers could have interest in Marcus Morris and Ed Davis. It’s unknown how much the two players would command on the open market, but at the very least, Davis could prove to be a cost-effective option.
Along with those names, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Brian Windhorst reported that the Lakers are “expected to try to find a way” to sign DeAndre Jordan. The duo pointed to the appeal of pairing him up with LeBron and Davis as a driving point behind the move.
Lakers to Debut Almost Entirely New-Look Team in 2019-20
It was obviously expected that the Lakers would have a new-look roster after last season wrapped up. Whether it meant signing a top-tier free agent or acquiring Davis via trade, big changes were expected. But at the moment this is being written, the Lakers have two players on their roster in James and Kyle Kuzma.
This is due to the fact that the team’s trade for Davis hasn’t processed yet, but after that goes through, they’ll have just the three players. With that said, it means the Lakers front office has an opportunity to bring in whatever players they view as the best fits next to LeBron and Davis, which should create multiple interesting storylines in 2019 and beyond.