With the Golden State Warriors defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games of the NBA Finals, the off-season is officially here. After failing to make the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers face a crucial off-season as they look to rebuild themselves into contenders.
After the NBA Draft, free agency takes place on July 1 and numerous players have already been linked to the Lakers. While it has been reported that Jimmy Butler is interested in signing an offer sheet with the storied franchise, Lou Williams is expected to receive strong interest from the Lakers according to RealGM’s Shams Charania:
Toronto free agent Lou Williams is expected to receive strong interest from teams that include the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, providing a clear competition for the Raptors to retain the NBA’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year, league sources told RealGM.
In addition, Williams could potentially earn a four year, $35 million contract in free agency:
As one of the most potent scorers on the market, Williams could scan leaguewide possibilities of a three-year deal in the range of $27 million or four years for $35 million.
After tearing his ACL during the 2012-13 season, Williams was eventually traded to the Toronto Raptors where he found success this past season. Averaging a career-high 15.5 points off the bench, Williams was named this season’s Sixth Man of the Year.
For the Lakers, they will have a projected $23 million in cap space to pursue free agents if they do not pick up Jordan Hill’s option. Considering what Williams could earn in free agency, the Lakers already have a scorer off the bench in Nick Young and will likely pursue other free agents first.[divide]