It’s shaping up to be a very interesting summer for the Los Angeles Lakers as even though they don’t have cap space or many resources to improve their roster, they have been linked to almost every big-name player available in free agency and trade talks over the last few weeks.
Two things the Lakers need are shooting and playmaking, and one player who would help solve both of those is Kyle Lowry.
The Lakers made a run at Lowry at the trade deadline but ultimately were not willing to part with Talen Horton-Tucker in addition to Dennis Schroder and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to get a deal done.
One other option is Lowry’s former teammate and good friend DeMar DeRozan, both of which are free agents. According to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times, both Lowry and DeRozan have interest in signing with the Lakers:
DeRozan, who starred at Compton High and USC, has interest in returning home to play for the Lakers, even if it is for less than the $27.7 million he earned last season in San Antonio, according to people not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Though the Lakers didn’t acquire Lowry at the trade deadline, he remains interested in joining them, according to people with knowledge of his situation.
While there is a path to the Lakers bringing in both Lowry and DeRozan, it certainly won’t be easy considering the Lakers’ lack of cap space.
If they want to sign Lowry then it likely would come via a sign-and-trade with the Raptors, potentially involving Schroder and others. That would hard-cap the Lakers though, leaving them basically forced to fill out the roster with minimum players.
They would have one mid-level exception to hand out, however, which would likely go to DeRozan in this scenario. Turner mentioned that DeRozan would be willing to take a pay cut to play for his hometown Lakers, but going from making $27.7 million to $5.7 million is a giant one so it remains to be seen if he’s willing to do that.
There’s no doubt that adding both Lowry and DeRozan, or even just one of them, would put the Lakers firmly back in the championship picture, so it will be interesting to see what Rob Pelinka is able to pull off this summer to make it happen. Pelinka is known for taking big swings since taking over the Lakers’ front office, and this would certainly categorize as another one.
Harrell leaning towards opting in
One other question mark this summer is Montrezl Harrell, although his future with the Lakers is not up to them as he has a $9.7 player option.
A recent report is indicating that Harrell is leaning towards opting in, which would give the Lakers some options as they can then keep him for one more year or use that salary for matching purposes in a trade, perhaps for Lowry.
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