The Los Angeles Lakers hoped to be a player for a major free agent this summer. Although they landed meetings with Carmelo Anthony and the agent for LeBron James, Rich Paul, the Lakers weren’t able to acquire the type of player they’d hoped for and will likely suffer through another rough season.
Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders believes Kobe Bryant’s mega-deal is preventing them from landing stars.
With Kobe Bryant taking up $25 million of the salary cap, it is hard to see why a star in their prime would come to the Lakers next year. Much like this year, someone like Carmelo Anthony would realize that there would not be room for a second star with Kobe making that much, so the ceiling would be pretty low. Not a lot of first tier stars want to waste a season of their late prime like that, so the Lakers might have to either overpay for a 2nd tier star or have essentially a 3rd straight transition year with a lot of shorter term contracts like this year.
The true test will be in 2016 when Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant headlines what could be an all-time great free agency class.
Bryant appeared in only six games last season, averaging 13.1 points, 6.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game while shooting 42.5% from the field, 18.8% from beyond the arc and 85.7% from the free throw line. In his storied career, he has averaged 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 45.4% from the field, 33.5% from three and 83.8% from the charity stripe.
Be sure to check FanSided’s official NBA page to keep up to date on the latest news and rumors from around the league all summer long.