As free agency quickly approaches on June 30, the Los Angeles Lakers will have $23.7-32.5 million in cap space available following the Anthony Davis trade on July 6.
With two All-Star players in Davis and LeBron James, there have been debates regarding if general manager Rob Pelinka should sign a third All-Star player or 2-3 role players.
Outside of perhaps Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving, it may make more sense to surround James and Davis with depth.
If the Lakers ultimately decide to go this route, they are reportedly one of at least three teams interested in signing Enes Kanter, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:
Free agent center Enes Kanter is expected to receive interest from the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics on June 30, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 26, 2019
This is not the first time the Lakers have been interested in Kanter, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Blazers beat a crowded field for Kanter, including the Lakers, per sources. Kanter is an important addition for Blazers, where he'll play a good share of minutes. Portland signed Kanter to a $70M offer sheet in 2015, which OKC matched. https://t.co/1Qdd1Ff43G
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 13, 2019
As Kanter has an interesting history with James, it is possible his agent is just using the Lakers as leverage.
As it currently stands, it does not make much sense for the Lakers to use part of their cap space on a center with James, Davis, and Kyle Kuzma set to play major minutes.
Along with Kanter, the Lakers are reportedly interested in Nikola Vucevic, Brook Lopez, and DeAndre Jordan.
While they are all great centers, the focus should be on the backcourt. Up to this point, all of the attention has been on D’Angelo Russell’s future with the Brooklyn Nets.
If Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant sign with the Nets, they would have to renounce Russell, making him an unrestricted free agent. Although Russell’s two seasons in Los Angeles did not end well, it appears there is mutual interest.
Regardless of which direction the Lakers take, the hope is they learned from the 2018-19 NBA season when they surrounded James with ‘tough-minded’ playmakers instead of shooters in hopes of making the 2019 NBA playoffs.