After selecting D’Angelo Russell at the NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers had high hopes of landing LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency. However, after meeting with each other twice, Aldridge ultimately decided to return home and signed with the San Antonio Spurs.
In a recent interview on The Russillo Show on ESPN Radio, Aldridge talked about his two meetings with the Lakers via Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders:
“With the Lakers, it wasn’t anything crazy,” Aldridge said. “It was just the [first] meeting didn’t go as well as I wanted it to, so I did another one. People blew it out of proportion about things happening in the meeting. That wasn’t correct. It just didn’t go as good as I wanted it to so I had one more.”
With Aldridge deciding to join a championship contender, the Lakers moved on to Plan B which featured trading for Roy Hibbert and signing Lou Williams and Brandon Bass. While the Lakers did not land their top target, general manager Mitch Kupchak and company were able to add solid veterans to their young core of Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.
Heading into the 2015-16 season, the Lakers face a difficult challenge in the Western Conference. With numerous teams improving, the focus will be on the development of the young core and the return of Kobe Bryant from his third consecutive season-ending injury.[divide]