The Los Angeles Lakers have huge plans this summer, hoping to sign one or two of the big-name free agents available. One question still surrounding the team however, is what they will choose to do with the veteran free agents already on the roster.
In particular, Brook Lopez and Isaiah Thomas were both praised by teammates and coaches for what they brought to the Lakers, and both are unrestricted free agents this summer. What will happen with the likes of LeBron James or Paul George is anyone’s guess what will happen with them, but if the Lakers strike out, they could shift their focus internally.
In an appearance on ESPN LA Mornings with Keyshawn, Jorge, and LZ, Adrian Wojnarowski said that if the Lakers fail to land a big name, they’ll likely look towards one-year deals with Lopez or Thomas:
“The Lakers, plan, I mean everyone has known it. It hasn’t changed. They want to get both of them. They hope they can get one of them, and if they can’t get either, they’re probably doing one-year deals with Isaiah Thomas or Brook Lopez.”
This makes sense as the front office has already been open about not wasting their salary cap space if they don’t land a star this summer simply for the sake of doing so.
Pursuing one-year contracts while keeping room for 2019 when the likes of Klay Thompson, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Jimmy Butler could be available is an easy decision.
Both Lopez and Thomas have expressed interest in remaining in Los Angeles, with Lopez even saying he would take less money if the team was a definite contender. It would be interesting to see who the Lakers would prioritize in such a situation.
Lopez had an up-and-down season for the Lakers, averaging just 13 points and four rebounds, but really came on strong down the stretch as he posted 18.7 points per game in March. Thomas appeared in only 17 games after being acquired at the trade deadline and was solid off the bench, averaging 15.6 points and five assists.
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