After LeBron James announced his intention to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, the front office quickly went to work on filling out the roster. Following the big domino of LeBron James falling, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope agreed to a one-year deal to return.
Additionally, the Lakers came to terms with Lance Stephenson, JaVale McGee and Rajon Rondo. The process included renouncing the rights to Julius Randle, making him an unrestricted free agent.
It’s something Randle reportedly asked for, because of uncertainty over a role and the lack of a long-term commitment. Randle then went on to agree to a contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.
With some salary cap space remaining, the Lakers might see another player from last season’s roster return.
According to Keith Smith of Real GM, Brook Lopez is a likely candidate to re-sign:
Hearing Brook Lopez is a good bet to return to the Lakers. LA probably out of the running for DeMarcus Cousins after using a good amount of cap space to retain Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) July 2, 2018
Lopez previously spoke about being willing to take a pay cut to remain with the Lakers if they are a contender. And with James on board there is no doubt that will be the case. While nothing is set in stone, there is some belief that it could come down soon.
Lopez is another ideal fit next to a player like James. Able to operate both from the post and the perimeter, Lopez provides a consistent offensive threat as well as a rim protector for the back line of the defense.
Overall, Lopez showed both his good and bad in his first season with the Lakers. His 1.3 blocks per game ranked 15th in the NBA and while he averaged just 13 points per game, he was much better down the stretch of the season once he got comfortable with what was expected of him.
The month of March was a particularly strong one as he averaged 18.7 points on 55.4 percent shooting and 38.8 percent from 3-point range.
Of course nothing is for certain until a signature is on a contract, but if the Lakers do ultimately bring back Lopez, it will be another reliable veteran to fill out the roster.
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