With the start date of the 2020-21 season set for Dec. 22, the NBA can finally turn to other matters with the offseason.
While the draft will occur on Nov. 18, the free agency period will likely be a frenzy given the short turnaround time for training camp. Teams will want to sign players as soon as possible in order to onboard them and get them acclimated to their new situations.
The Los Angeles Lakers figure to be one of the busiest teams because of all the potential free agents they have. Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo already have reported suitors, while Avery Bradley and JaVale McGee have player options they have yet to decide on.
With the uncertainty of their big man rotation, the Lakers could look to fill the void and one potential option is the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson, according to Evan Dammarell of Forbes:
Thompson does have interested suitors on the market – mainly the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Toronto Raptors, according to league sources. But, those same sources also shared that Thompson would like to try and finish his career with the Cavaliers and continue helping the team’s young core develop.
Thompson would be able to fill the rebounding void if Howard or McGee were to leave Los Angeles, but he is not the same caliber of shot blocker the two are. However, Thompson has flashed some outside shooting and perimeter defense that would be useful around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
The connection between Thompson and the Lakers also makes sense because of the 29-year-old’s experience playing alongside James. Signing Thompson would also add to the stable of Klutch Sports clients currently on the roster, something that would presumably please James.
However, Danny Green believes the purple and gold will opt to try and bring everyone back and reason stands to believe that is the front office’s preference. Thompson is a logical target, but only if Howard and McGee do depart.
Lakers’ options in free agency
If Howard and McGee leave and Thompson decides to stay with the Cavaliers, the Lakers could chase other bigs.
Aron Baynes is a player that sticks out as the team reportedly had interest in signing him last offseason before he ended up with the Phoenix Suns. Baynes provides 3-point shooting and sets solid screens, two skills that would be invaluable for L.A.
Nerlens Noel is another intriguing option because of his defensive presence and rim-rolling ability. He was used sparingly on the Oklahoma City Thunder and should consider ring-chasing with the Lakers.
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