The Los Angeles Lakers franchise hasn’t been an appealing free agent destination for quite some time. It has gotten so bad at this point that the biggest names available on the open market won’t even grant the team a meeting. However, former Lakers Matt Barnes and Carlos Boozer believe things may turn around in the post-Kobe Bryant era.
Although Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside, and LaMarcus Aldridge passed on the prospect of joining the Lakers, Barnes claims one player has told him they’ll seriously consider signing with the Lakers, according to ESPN’s William Weinbaum and Steve Delsohn:
More help could be on the way after the season, however. Barnes said one potential free agent told him of plans to give the Lakers serious consideration and Boozer said the chance to lead a team — with Bryant now retired — could be especially appealing to the egos of some leading free agents.
Obviously, this should be a taken with a grain of salt. There have been rumors galore about star players wanting to come to the Lakers over the last few years with nothing coming to fruition. Durant was linked to the Lakers on more than occasion and didn’t even meet with the team when given the opportunity. Kevin Love rumors were a daily occurrence in Los Angeles with speculation he’d be wearing purple and gold; that never happened.
Fortunately, even if the player that Barnes spoke of doesn’t ink a deal with the Lakers, Luke Walton and company have a solid foundation with some promising young talent.
The young core of D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Larry Nance Jr. have given fans some to get excited about. Along with all these players seemingly being the right moves for the Lakers in the NBA Draft over the last few years, Walton appears to be the right man to lead them.
The 2016-17 NBA season will be an interesting one for the Lakers franchise. Walton has a lot of work to do with free agency being the least of his concerns, but if he can pull this team together, Los Angeles may be an appealing destination once again.