This off-season will be extremely important for the Los Angeles Lakers as the team looks to figure out a way to turn things around after another less than stellar season on the court.
The Lakers will have ample cap room in free agency and there are numerous players whom the Lakers could go after. One of the most promising is Chicago Bulls swing man, Jimmy Butler. According to Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today, the Lakers could offer him a max contract:
A strong perimeter defender, Butler has blossomed into the Bulls’ best offensive player and an All-Star, averaging 20.6 points. Teams are going to offer a max deal (hello, Los Angeles Lakers), and the Bulls would be hard-pressed not to match.
Butler would be an excellent piece for the Lakers, but as a restricted free agent it would be difficult to get Chicago to not match. Butler isn’t the only player the Lakers are expected to pursue as Detroit Pistons big man Greg Monroe is also expected to be a target:
Whether Monroe gets a true max or not, he’s going to receive a lucrative deal, and the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks are among the possible suitors.
With Jim Buss outlining a three-year plan to turn the Lakers into contenders, this off-season will be crucial for the Lakers to take the first steps towards getting to that point.
Outside of rookie Julius Randle, the future of the Lakers is pretty murky. Getting one or both of these players in free agency would be great in building the foundation of the Lakers’ future.[divide]
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