The Los Angeles Lakers made the biggest move of the NBA offseason thus far by landing Russell Westbrook in a blockbuster trade, but they still have a lot of work left to do to fill out the roster, which currently sports five players.
One player the Lakers have been linked to heading into NBA free agency on Monday is veteran forward Rudy Gay. The soon-to-be 35-year-old fits the mold of a talented veteran looking for a ring before calling it a career, and it appears he favors the Lakers, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic.
Otto Porter Jr. and Rudy Gay are two players the Jazz hold interest in. But those names also come with caveats. Gay is thought to be leaning toward the Los Angeles Lakers. Porter is thought to be leaning to the Brooklyn Nets. In free agency, anything can happen. So, perhaps the Jazz can get one of them. But Gay and Porter are valuable role players on title-type teams. They are both versatile offensively, and they are the kind of long and athletic forwards that every team covets. So, competition for both will be steep.
Gay isn’t the player he once averaging around 20 points per game, but he can still be a valuable veteran off the bench for the Lakers next season. The San Antonio Spurs are in rebuilding mode and will likely lose DeMar DeRozan and Gay this offseason, with both players eyeing a title over money at this point in their careers.
DeRozan has also been linked to the Lakers over the past week or so, but now that seems like a stretch even at a discounted rate. Gay, however, may be as attainable as any player linked to the storied franchise as he could be content with the veteran minimum along with another notable name like Carmelo Anthony.
Last season, Gay played 63 games for the Spurs, averaging 11.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game while shooting 42 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from deep.
Dwight Howard interested in third stint with Lakers
The Lakers might have the inside track on bringing back a familiar face in the form of Dwight Howard this summer. Howard appears to be ready to return to the team that he won a championship with in the NBA bubble not all that long ago.
It’ll be interesting to see if the two sides can see eye-to-eye on a deal for the 2021-22 campaign.