The Los Angeles Lakers will likely be as active as any team in the NBA this summer once free agency gets underway in July. Although there will be plenty of options on the open market, it is uncertain which players the team will target and actually have a legitimate shot of signing.
One player that is rumored to intrigue the Lakers is forward Tobias Harris of the Orlando Magic. Harris will likely receive a lucrative qualifying offer this summer from the Magic, but might get larger offers from teams around the league that Orlando simply isn’t prepared to match.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, Harris could be attainable for the Lakers this summer in free agency:
Will the Magic pay Tobias Harris? That is the magic question. Harris has posted a solid season since the Magic tabled extension talks in October. Harris is believed to be obtainable in free agency even though the Magic plan to issue a qualifying offer and restrict his free agency. There have been a number of teams linked to Harris including the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and even Atlanta Hawks.
Currently, the Lakers can afford to make some moves in free agency, but nothing major outside of signing one max player. Harris may end up being too pricey unless Los Angeles doesn’t land a big-name with a max contract price tag. The team could spread out their cap space this summer in order to bring in talented players around developing rookies along with up-and-comers like Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.
Harris could be had if teams are willing to go above a certain number per season, via Kyler:
The belief is that the Magic would match almost anything under $13 million a season, the question is will Harris get an offer sheet worth more than that number in July and will the Magic budge off their price range?
With the small forward position being arguably one of the weakest for the Lakers right now, Harris is an intriguing option heading into the off-season. Wesley Johnson hasn’t impressed in his two seasons in Los Angeles and Nick Young has assumed the sixth man role meaning the team could elect to upgrade with a potential starter in Harris.
In 60 games this season for the Magic, Harris is averaging a career-high 16.9 points per game while also shooting a career-best 36.6 percent from beyond the arc. Harris also grabs 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.[divide]