With less than 10 days until the NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers are currently working out numerous prospects for their three picks. While the team has already worked out Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay, they have not been able to schedule one with Karl-Anthony Towns.
A week after the NBA Draft is free agency where the Lakers will have the cap space to pursue one player to a max contract. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Jimmy Butler has ‘increased’ interest in signing with the Lakers:
As Butler spends time in Los Angeles this summer, a stretch that’s included an overseas “Entourage” promotional jaunt with producer Mark Wahlberg, Butler’s intrigue with signing a potential Los Angeles Lakers offer sheet has increased, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Butler has emerged as one of the league’s greatest two-way players. Before being eliminated in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, Butler was named a reserve for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game and won the Most Improved Player award. In 65 games, Butler set career-highs in points (20.0), rebounds (5.8) and assists (3.2).
While Butler may have ‘increased’ interest in joining the Lakers, the Bulls can match any offers as he is a restricted free agent this off-season. Although the Lakers may not be able to sign him, it is encouraging that free agents are interested in signing with the franchise as they will have a young nucleus of the No. 2 pick, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.[divide]