Although many expected the Los Angeles Lakers to perhaps take a back seat in the 2014 offseason, they have high hopes for the summer.
The Lakers are one of several teams who believe they have a chance to convince Miami Heat forward LeBron James and New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony to team up and join their squad. The Lakers have the allure of playing in Los Angeles for one of the the all-time greatest franchises in sports history and the chance to team up with another Hall-of-Famer, legendary guard Kobe Bryant.
Of course, James is still expected to re-sign with the Heat and many believe the Knicks are the favorites to retain Anthony with the Chicago Bulls right behind. That could cause the Lakers to pursue other options. They have been tied to free agents a tier below James and Anthony like Indiana Pacers’ guard and Detroit Pistons’ big man Greg Monroe. They could also make a move for Toronto Raptors’ point guard Kyle Lowry and Phoenix Suns’ guard Eric Bledsoe.
David Aldridge of NBA.com suggests they make a play for Houston Rockets’ restricted free agent Chandler Parsons.
For the sake of argument, let’s say L.A. uses just five minimum holds, with the intent of filling the remaining two roster spots with new free agents. The five holds would run about $2.5 million total, bringing the team’s salary near $40 million — enough for one max deal, but not more. The Lakers would almost certainly have to convince ‘Melo to take less than the max in order to make a realistic offer to Parsons.
Parsons has been incredible in Houston since being taken 38th overall in the 2011 Draft. Last season, he was 13th in PER among small forwards and his True Shooting Percentage was better than that of All-Stars like Anthony and Paul George. Playing off of Randle (or Pau Gasol, if the Lakers can re-sign him), or Anthony and Kobe Bryant, Parsons would be equally lethal.
Parsons averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 47.2% from the field, 37.0% from beyond the arc and 74.2% from the free throw this season.