Using their full midlevel exception to reportedly agree to terms with Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell, and the biannual exception on Wesley Matthews, the Los Angeles Lakers have become somewhat limited in available options to continue filling out the roster.
That was particularly true after the Lakers and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope reportedly agreed to a three-year, $40 million contract. While vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka has seemingly upgraded the roster, the team is a bit thin at the center position.
JaVale McGee exercised his player option to remain with the Lakers, but Dwight Howard has signed with the Philadelphia 76ers. Harrell is capable of playing center, though the Lakers are more likely to slide Anthony Davis over to the 5 in such lineups.
Fortunately for L.A., the opportunity to pursue a championship could end up being enough to lure Marc Gasol away from the Toronto Raptors, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 22, 2020
Both prior to and since the start of free agency, the Lakers have been linked to Gasol and Ibaka. Their reported agreement with Harrell seemingly took them out of the running for Ibaka, who is said to have come to terms with the L.A. Clippers on a two-year deal.
The market for Gasol isn’t believed to be as robust as his former teammate, but the Toronto Raptors reportedly increased their pursuit in the wake of losing Ibaka to the Clippers.
Gasol would give the Lakers a presence on the defensive end and also another willing passer and floor spacer on offense.
Domino effect if Lakers sign Gasol
Should the Lakers manage to sign Gasol — who they drafted in 2007 — it presumably would push McGee to a bench unit that features Kyle Kuzma, Dennis Schroder and Harrell. Or it could mean the Lakers look to trade McGee and use that available salary cap room to re-sign DeMarcus Cousins or Markieff Morris.
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