Free Agency Rumors: Rose or Clark in Store for the Lakers?

Free agency season has kicked off with a blast, with unexpected moves from both teams and players. Curry’s supermax $200 million deal with the Warriors seems to have set some wheels in motion for the long run, as rival teams rush to build stronger rosters. The Boston Celtics seem to have a particular interest in Paul George, who will become a free agent next year and has already suggested he would like to join his hometown team, the Lakers. For the current season, though, the Los Angeles team are rumored to have their sights set on the likes of Derrick Rose and Ian Clark – but would these be viable options for the Lakers?

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose would definitely be a good choice for the Lakers – and with fellow point guard legend, Magic Johnson, on the lead of basketball operations for a few months now, we might just see a shift in the team’s playing strategy by acquiring a particularly strong player for the position. After all, the Lakers have already made it clear that they are looking for a seasoned player to not only give the team roster a boost, but also to act as a mentor for up-and-coming talent, Lonzo Ball. It’s no secret that Ball is regarded as a strong investment by the team, who just signed him to a four-year rookie scale contract earlier in July.

Rose seems to be ideal for this role – although his series of knee injuries have left him struggling a bit lately. He made a great entrance in the game by accumulating eight years of experience playing for his hometown Bulls, with which he won NBA Rookie of the Year in 2009 and two years later, at age 22, made history by becoming the youngest player to be named NBA MVP of the season. Now, following some strain with Knicks team management and another knee injury that forced him to miss the season’s close, Rose is looking for a new home after just one year in New York.

The Cavaliers are vying with Lakers to get him, in an attempt to increase their chances at a better performance – bet365 NBA odds currently have them at +400 to win the NBA next year. But a meeting on Thursday between Rose and the Lakers reportedly left both sides “feeling good” about a prospective deal, and although Rose seems to lack some of the defense or facilitating skills, the Lakers would be ideally looking for, it seems that the Cavaliers have good reason to be worried.

Ian Clark

The Lakers also met with UFA combo guard Ian Clark on Thursday – but only for 45 minutes, as opposed to the three-hour meeting with Rose. Clark is definitely an excellent player and would certainly add some backcourt depth to the Lakers roster, strengthening the Caldwell-Pope and Clarkson combination. He also comes off a great season with the Warriors, having just beaten the Cavaliers for the championship.

Source: Ian Clark via Facebook

Yet Clark lacks Rose’s impressive record and experience; perhaps his greatest asset at this point is precisely his experience with the Warriors, as he knows the team’s gameplay well, and has also worked with current Lakers head coach during Walton’s time at Golden State before coming to Los Angeles. But would these be enough for the Lakers? It is not hard to imagine that, given the chance, the LA team will probably go for Rose over Clark.

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Written by Ross Pickering

Ross Pickering is the founder of He's here to bring you daily updates on your Los Angeles Lakers, despite living 5,485 miles away from L.A. in England. You can follow him on Twitter: @RossPickering

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