Over the past six months or so, the likes of Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo and Goran Dragic have all been traded to new teams.
All three of those players are expected to become free agents this summer – Love and Dragic both have player options – and all three are also expected to be on the Lakers’ wish list.
However, after being traded to their new teams, it was expected that Love, Rondo and Dragic would sign longterm deals this summer at their new destinations.
The teams that acquired Love, Rondo and Dragic will be able to offer larger contracts than rival franchises as they now own their Bird rights.
Still, as the Lakers saw with Dwight Howard in 2013, nothing is for certain when it comes to free agency, and that’s why Sam Amick from USA Today is wondering whether Love, Rondo and Dragic will re-sign with their new teams this summer:
There’s a good chance the Miami Heat will re-sign Dragic seeing as Pat Riley’s team was on his wish list at the trade deadline. Also, the Heat gave up quite a lot to land Dragic, and it has already been rumored that Riley is prepared to offer the Slovenian a five-year, maximum salary deal.
Things are a little less certain when it comes to Love, however.
The UCLA product has struggled to get used to life as a third option with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it doesn’t seem out of the question that Love would look for pastures new if this season winds up ending badly for LeBron James’ Cavs.
Above all else, the one guy the Lakers could end up having a real shot at landing is Rondo.
On Tuesday night, Rondo clashed with head coach Rick Carlisle in the middle of a game, and ESPN’s Tim MacMahon says it was followed by an “expletive-laced shouting match” after the game and a one-game suspension handed out by the team.
As a result, MacMahon says “Rondo’s run with the Mavs is extremely unlikely to extend past this season,” and the Lakers would surely be one of the teams just waiting to swoop in and sign the former NBA champion in July if such a situation does occur.