Lakers Early Free Agent Targets

 

The Los Angeles Lakers have spoken to free agents Andre Iguodala and Rajon Rondo, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN also adds Ben McLemore to the list of players the Lakers have recently reached out to early in this free agency period.

This is an interesting group of players the team has reached out to early in the offseason. Veterans Iguodala and Rondo would add a lot of experience to a young team, but the price Iguodala is fishing for right now and will likely get doesn’t really match Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka’s offseasons plans this year. As for Rondo, who does have a bring baggage along with him to any locker room, as well as his limitations as an outside shooter doesn’t exactly match the vision and system the organization is trying to build.

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McLemore though, is a young player who has nice size at 6″5 in the SG position and has the ability to stretch to floor with his jumpshot. Mostly an inconsistent player throughout his career so far, he’d be a low risk-high reward signing for the Lakers, as they could see for themselves how much of McLemore shortcomings were on him or simply just because of playing fro the Kings. They don’t cough up too much money thereby upholding their promise of keeping their cap space “sacred.”

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Other notable free agents the Lakers could still target to address needs such as outside shooting and defense who are available (for now) are: Aaron Afflalo, Robert Covington, Tyreke Evans, Reggie Bullock and Ian Clark to name a few.

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Lakers Trade D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov To Nets For Brook Lopez And 27th Pick

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The Los Angeles Lakers have traded second year point guard D’Angelo Russell and veteran Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and their 27th pick in this year’s draft, according to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.

After clearing the rubble of what is currently the biggest Woj bomb of this crazy NBA offseason, the Lakers have managed to liberate themselves from the monster contract worth over $15M for the next three years while taking in Brook Lopez whose contract expires after this year and also getting 27th pick, bringing their total of draft pick for this year up to three (Along with #2 and #28).

As we unpack this blockbuster trade, there are a few key takeaways for both teams. For the Lakers, by shedding a big contract you set yourself up for a potential Paul George trade, in which negotiations have already entered the preliminary stages. ┬áThis also makes the Lakers intentions for Thursday’s lottery clear: they will be drafting Lonzo Ball to take the reigns at point now left open due to the departure of Russell.

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It’s also worth noting that this move may very well be a clue as to what Magic Johnson and Rob Pelinka have in store for the purple and gold in the near future.

While this trade may have helped the Lakers in many respects, some of which I’ve touched on earlier, it didn’t come without a price, and depending on how next season and beyond play out, it may entail huge consequences. D’Angelo Russell, fresh off just his second season is moving to Brooklyn to play for head coach Kenny Atkinson and the woeful Nets. Many Lakers fans shared the same reaction after witnessing a fresh Woj bomb drop this afternoon, a reaction that is perfectly summed up with this classic Russell GIF:

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A former 2nd overall pick who has actually played really well in his 2 seasons in the league, and showed a lot of promise last season, especially after the all star break. With averages of 15.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists on a mere 28.7 minute per game, he has shown nice productivity in limited action.

It was tough to find out he was let go after such a short tenure in the purple and gold. I think it’s not much of a stretch to say that if the Lakers’ young core each reached their potential, it would have been something special to watch homegrown talent built from the draft to rise and bring a storied franchise back to prominence.

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In light of this hefty reduction, the Lakers arsenal is still well equipped with assets and young talent that make plenty other franchise altering moves possible. As crazy as this offseason has been so far, the rumor season is not quite done just yet. With draft starting in a few days and free agency not far away, the rest of the league hast its eyes set on what Magic Johnson and the Lakers are going to do next.