Lakers Rumors: L.A. Expressed Interest In Nerlens Noel Before Signing With Kings
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA offseason is finally starting to hit its annual lull as one most of the free agent signings have been agreed to.

For the Los Angeles Lakers, they got most of their work in the first weekend and are currently sitting at 13 players under contract for the 2023-24 season. Los Angeles did well to add more depth and talent around their two stars, but could still use at least one more piece to round out the team.

Rob Pelinka has already come out and said that the Lakers are looking for one more center to put next to Anthony Davis in order to replicate the 2019-20 success. Names like Christian Wood and Bismack Biyombo have been floated in recent weeks, but there doesn’t appear to be much momentum toward signing either player yet.

Another interesting name was Nerlens Noel, who last appeared with the Brooklyn Nets. Noel recently signed a one-year contract with the Sacramento Kings, but Los Angeles was reportedly interested in the big man, via Michael Scotto of HoopsHype:

Before Nerlens Noel agreed to a one-year, $3.1 million deal with the Sacramento Kings, the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls also expressed exploratory interest in Noel, HoopsHype has learned.

While the Lakers ultimately didn’t sign Noel, the team remains open to potentially adding a veteran center, league sources told HoopsHype.

Noel began the 2022-23 season with the Detroit Pistons but agreed to a contract buyout shortly after the trade deadline. From there, Noel landed with the Nets on a 10-day contract and went into the summer as an unrestricted free agent.

The Kentucky product isn’t much of an offensive threat outside of lobs and dump offs, but has shown good instincts defending the rim and blocking shots. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why L.A. was interested in bringing him in as he could’ve reprised the same roles that JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard once occupied.

With Noel off the board now, the Lakers will need to turn their attention elsewhere. Wood and Biyombo remain the favorites for the 14th roster spot, though if someone else comes loose then they should pounce on the opportunity.

Lakers one of many teams to have interest in signing Rudy Gay

While center is the obvious area of need, the Lakers could opt to go in a different direction. After Rudy Gay was waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder, L.A. was named as one of the teams who could be interested in signing him.

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