In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll suffered a non-contact knee injury. Fortunately, an MRI on Wednesday morning revealed no structural damage and Carroll is questionable for Game 2.
The Hawks have been the surprise team of the NBA this season and Carroll has been an integral part of the rise. With Carroll set to become a free agent this upcoming off-season, the Lakers are among the team that have interest in him according to Sean Deveney of the Sporting News:
“There’s a long list of teams already prepared to pursue Carroll this summer, including the Cetlics, Lakers and Pistons. He boosted his scoring average from 12.6 points to 16.2 before the injury, and was shooting 51.3 percent from the field and 41.6 percent from the 3-point line. The Hawks want to keep Carroll, but his price has been driven up. With his defense and versatility, one league exec estimated his next deal at more than $15 million per year. The Lakers, a source said, have big-time interest in Carroll.”
With the Lakers expected to select Karl-Anthony Towns or Jahlil Okafor with the second overall pick at the NBA Draft on June 25, the franchise will have ample cap space. One of the team’s biggest weaknesses these last couple of seasons has been the small forward position and Carroll has established himself as one of the league’s best wing defenders.
After playing for numerous teams in his first four seasons, Carroll has found some stability with the Hawks. Appearing in 70 games this season, Carroll averaged a career-high in points (12.6) and shot nearly 40 percent from the three-point line.[divide]