In this piece, blogger Samuel Goldman will list his top 3 free agency targets for the Lakers this summer, while Ross Pickering, Lakerholicz.com’s founder, will chime in with his own thoughts on each player.
3. LaMarcus Aldridge
Age By Start Of Next Season: 30
Current Salary: $16.2 million
Why He’s A Good Fit: LaMarcus Aldridge is a good fit because he’s the kind of big man the Lakers desperately need. If he can do what Dwight Howard was supposed to do, the Lakers will be good next year. I think that Aldridge will remain in Portland. But you never know.
2014-15 Statistics: 23.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.0 block in 35.4 minutes per game.
Ross’ Thoughts: Just a few months ago, Aldridge leaving the Portland Trail Blazers seemed almost unthinkable, and, to be honest, it still would be shocking to see the 29-year-old jump ship from the only NBA team he’s ever known.
However, the rumors have already started to swirl, so Blazer fans shouldn’t be too surprised if the Texas native leaves for pastures new in July.
Would Aldridge join the Lakers, though? You’d imagine that the veteran would want to move to to a playoff team if he does leave Portland, and it’s currently unclear just how competitive the purple and gold will be next season.
However, while Aldridge will be 30 by the time the 2015-16 season tips off, the Lakers would almost have to sign him if he does show interest in heading to L.A. this summer because he’s just that good.
2. Rajon Rondo
Age By Start Of Next Season: 29
Current Salary: $12.9 million
Why He’s A Good Fit: Rajon Rondo is a good fit because he and Kobe Bryant get along. That’s not the only reason, though: Like Bryant, Rondo is also talented and determined. Both of these qualities fit the Lakers’ needs.
I think the Lakers’ former enemy will end up wearing purple and gold next season.
2014-15 Statistics: 8.9 points, 7.9 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 29.7 minutes per game.
Ross’ Thoughts: When Rajon Rondo was on the trading block back in December, I thought the Lakers were smart to throw their hat into the ring and attempt to land the former All-Star. Lots of other teams were vying for his services, too, and the Kentucky product ending up being dealt to the Dallas Mavericks.
However, after a few rocky months in Texas, Rondo will not be re-signed by Mark Cuban’s team this summer.
Although, despite Rondo now being available once again, I’m much less reluctant about signing him this offseason.
Not only has Rondo been a shell of his former self after tearing his ACL in 2013, but he’s also said to have consistently been somewhat of a negative presence in the locker room.
However, if the Lakers are the only team showing any interest in Rondo this summer – which is possible, according to a report – then they should be able to sign him to a fairly low salary deal.
If this is the case, he may be worth the risk.
But, then again, I’d also be fine with the Lakers passing on him altogether.
1. Kevin Love
Age By Start Of Next Season: 27
Current Salary: $15.7 million
Why He’s A Good Fit: Kevin Love is a good fit because I don’t think L.A. will be able to sign Aldridge. LeBron James returned to Cleveland and Kevin Durant might end up going home to Washington D.C.
Could Love be next?
I think that Love has the highest probability of ending up in L.A. than other star free agent in 2015.
2014-15 Statistics: 16.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists in 33.8 minutes per game.
Ross’ Thoughts: Kevin Love is the youngest player on this list, and is probably the most likely of the three to be signed by the Lakers this summer.
Love, who has been linked to the purple and gold for years now, could very easily wind up leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason, according to a report.
Love has had a tough season while adjusting to life as a third option in Cleveland, though he’s still scored the ball well (16.4 points per game, down from 26.1 points last season) while taking less shots (18.5 attempts per game down to 12.7).
There’s no question he could help the Lakers next season, especially if he is once again given a big role, though L.A. missing out on the UCLA product – and any other decent power forward, for that matter – wouldn’t be all bad news, as it would give Julius Randle an opportunity to showcase his skills next year.