The Los Angeles Lakers have already made the splash of the offseason by reportedly trading for Russell Westbrook to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
They had to give up a lot to get the former MVP and nine-time All-Star, however, as they will be sending Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and the No. 22 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft to the Washington Wizards as a part of the deal. The trade cannot be officially completed until the start of the new league year on Aug. 6.
As things currently stand though, the Lakers only have five players under contract in their three stars along with Marc Gasol and Alfonzo McKinnie.
That means that Rob Pelinka will have his work cut out for him to put a quality roster together with limited resources at his disposal. Veterans may want to come to the Lakers in order to chase a ring though and they are already being linked to a couple.
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reported that DeMar DeRozan, Carmelo Anthony and Rudy Gay are veteran players that have interest in joining the Lakers:
With Westbrook now headed to Los Angeles, multiple league personnel contacted by B/R expect there to be significant interest from several veterans, including DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay and Carmelo Anthony, to forgo higher salary opportunities elsewhere and join the Lakers in pursuit of a championship.
Anthony is a close friend of LeBron James’ and has seemingly been linked to the Lakers every offseason so it comes as no surprise that’s the case again.
While 37 years of age, Anthony would still be able to bring a valuable skillset to the Lakers due to his shooting ability. He shot 40.9% from 3-point range on 4.7 attempts per game with the Portland Trail Blazers last season.
James could probably convince his friend to take a minimum salary with the Lakers, which will be necessary with their lack of cap space.
Gay is another intriguing option for L.A. although would likely take up all or part of their mid-level exception. Gay is coming off a solid season with the San Antonio Spurs in which he averaged 11.4 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 38.1% from three.
With the loss of Kuzma, the Lakers really need a player that can defend bigger wings, which Gay would provide them.
DeRozan the most unlikely of the bunch
It was recently reported that DeRozan talked with James about coming to the team before the Westbrook trade went down.
The Lakers now don’t have much money to give DeRozan, however, making him an unlikely option to return to his hometown and don the Purple and Gold unless he’s willing to take the mid-level exception.
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