The Los Angeles Lakers are trying to build a roster that can compete right out of the gate next season. The storied franchise might not be an immediate contender, but they’ll have the building blocks in place to compete in the near future.
Drafting D’Angelo Russell and keeping a young core together that consists of Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle are steps in the right direction. Landing an All-Star forward in free agency this summer would be a game-changer.
According to Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times, LaMarcus Aldridge may favor signing with the Lakers over any other suitors in free agency:
Heard that LaMarcus Aldridge was leaning toward Lakers, a sign that their brand is not only back but never went away despite appearances.
— Ben Bolch (@latbbolch) June 30, 2015
Aldridge will arguably be the most sought free agent on the open market come July 1. Many would give Marc Gasol that honor, but it is highly unlikely he’ll leave the Memphis Grizzlies.
As for Aldridge, the toughest competition for the Lakers will likely be the San Antonio Spurs. Reports have surfaced about Aldridge already informing the Portland Trail Blazers that he isn’t returning, but that stance may chance or could ultimately not be true.
The speculation will continue to run wild in terms of Aldridge’s intentions and where he may land once the dust settles in free agency. Los Angeles clearly seems to have a shot at landing the soon-to-be 30-year-old, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be able to beat out a Spurs team only one year removed from winning an NBA title.
The Dallas Mavericks, New York Knicks, Toronto Raptors and Blazers will also pursue the veteran power forward this summer.[divide]