The Los Angeles Lakers missed out on a landing a key free agent in 2014 and with soon-to-be Cleveland Cavaliers’ power forward Kevin Love almost assuredly re-signing with the Cavaliers, there won’t be many options in 2015 either.
As Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders points out, the Lakers are looking forward to free agency in 2016.
The only true star level guys as free agents will be Love and Aldridge, assuming LeBron stays true to his word and re-signs a new contract for a bit more money next year. Aldridge would presumably be leaving Portland because he didn’t feel like he had enough chance to win, and the Lakers wouldn’t offer that for at least a year. Plus, a maximum contract for someone like Aldridge, who will be turning 30, probably isn’t a great idea. The Lakers could be in trouble until at least 2016, because they will very likely lose their 2015 draft pick as well. It really is remarkable how hamstrung they have been by the Kobe extension–especially because his presence will presumably prevent them being bad enough to hold onto their top-5 protected pick they owe PHX this year.
The 2013-2014 MVP, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is the biggest prize, but there are several other key free agents including Brooklyn Nets’ point guard Deron Williams, Charlotte Hornets’ guard Lance Stephenson, Portland Trail Blazers’ swingman Nicolas Batum, Atlanta Hawks’ big man Al Horford, Chicago Bulls’ center Joakim Noah, Memphis Grizzlies’ point guard Mike Conley, Nets’ guard Joe Johnson, Dallas Mavericks’ forward Chandler Parsons (player option), Golden State Warriors’ power forward David Lee, New Orleans Pelicans’ power forward Ryan Anderson and Houston Rockets’ center Dwight Howard (player option).
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