At the NBA Draft on Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers took the next step in their rebuild by selecting D’Angelo Russell (2nd), Larry Nance Jr. (27th) and Anthony Brown (34th). With free agency quickly approaching on July 1, general manager Mitch Kupchak says the franchise will target frontcourt players with their projected $24 million in cap space.
Since the NBA Draft, the Lakers have been linked to LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love and DeAndre Jordan. However, another name to keep an eye on is current Orlando Magic forward, Tobias Harris according to Shams Charania of RealGM:
The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks have also been long known as interested teams for Harris.
While the Lakers are among the teams interested in Harris, the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics have emerged as the leading candidates to offer him a max contract:
As Orlando restricted free agent Tobias Harris will pursue a maximum-level offer sheet on July 1 that the Magic possibly won’t match, the Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics have emerged as leading candidates for the talented forward, league sources told RealGM.
With Harris being a restricted free agent this off-season, the Magic will be able to match any offers. However, it is unclear if the Magic intend to match any max-contract offers that would start at $15 million for the 22-year-old forward.
While the Lakers will pursue all the big names, Harris may be a possibility for the franchise as they are looking to upgrade the small forward position. If Los Angeles does not add a forward in free agency, Kobe Bryant may shift to that position to allow Russell and Jordan Clarkson to start in the backcourt.
In 68 games this past season, Harris averaged 17.1 points and 6.3 rebounds in 34.8 minutes.[divide]