Lakers Starter to Be ‘Lured’ Away by Contending Teams: Report

avery bradley

Getty Avery Bradley guarding Jordan Poole.

After winning the NBA championship, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to have a massive target on their backs heading into the upcoming season. They’re expected to bring back the duo of Anthony Davis and LeBron James and just recently traded for Dennis Schroder. There’s no reason to think they won’t be just as good, if not better, this season.

The Lakers have a lot of players set to hit free agency. Some are expected to stay but they could lose some key contributors. Avery Bradley started most of the regular season games for Los Angeles but he opted out of playing in the bubble. He missed out on the playoffs and NBA Finals. Reports have indicated that he plans to decline his player option and test the free-agent market. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, there are already some top teams showing interest.

Bradley is an excellent defender and decent 3-point shooter. There are a lot of teams that could use a player like him. The Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks should be competing for the title this season and it makes sense why they’d want to make the Lakers worse.

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Lakers Would Be Just Fine Without Bradley

While Bradley is a good player and was an important piece for the Lakers in the regular season, they just won a championship while he stayed home. They clearly were good enough to win without him. Now, that doesn’t mean the Lakers are a worse team with him on the roster.

Bradley was one of the team’s best perimeter defenders last season and he made a few clutch threes. However, the fact that Los Angeles won the title without him has to hurt his value in their eyes. He could see more money from another team.

Will Lakers Try to Retain Bradley?

With Bradley sitting out of the bubble, Alex Caruso emerged as one of the team’s best perimeter defenders. He even got to start a game in the NBA Finals. Caruso hasn’t been in the league nearly as long but his size and skillset are comparable to Bradley.

The fact that the Lakers have him on the cheap could cause them to let Bradley walk without a fight. Obviously, Los Angeles wouldn’t love to see Bradley go to the Warriors or Bucks but he’s a good player who could help a contender. The NBA is going to be a lot more competitive this season. If the Lakers don’t try to retain Bradley, they better be sure to have a backup plan. It could be Caruso, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or a free agent. With Danny Green getting traded, the Lakers are losing one of their best perimeter defenders. Perhaps that helps Bradley’s chances of getting a decent contract from the Lakers. If not, it looks like he’ll have plenty of suitors.

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