On Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers introduced D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo. Although there is optimism with the addition of these young prospects, free agency takes place tonight at 9:01 PM PST.
When free agency begins, the Lakers will immediately meet with LaMarcus Aldridge and already have a meeting set up for Wednesday with DeAndre Jordan. While the Lakers will target big men, another name that has emerged over the last few weeks is Jimmy Butler.
After receiving a max contract offer from the Chicago Bulls, Butler has postponed meeting with other teams including the Lakers according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard:
Sources: After CHI offered @JimmyButler max 5/$90-plus Mon, JB postponed meeting w/LAL, BOS, PHI, DAL. JB deciding how many yrs 2 sign w/CHI
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 30, 2015
With Butler a restricted free agent, the Chicago Bulls have the ability to match any offers for him. The question heading into the off-season was whether the Bulls would actually offer him a five-year, $90 million extension or try to lowball him.
Heading into tonight, the Lakers will have a projected $24 million in cap space after declining Jordan Hill’s $9 million team option. With the ability to sign a player to a max contract, the Lakers have put themselves in a position to take another step in their rebuilding process.[divide]