After the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, the off-season is officially here. While the Los Angeles Lakers are currently working out prospects for their three draft picks on June 25, free agency takes place the following week.
Throughout this past season, the Lakers have been linked to numerous high-profile names as they will have a projected $23 million in cap space if they decline Jordan Hill’s team option. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, NBA executives still believe Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge are the big names likeliest to change teams this summer:
Of all of the high-profile free agents this summer, executives still believe Love and LaMarcus Aldridge are the likeliest to be willing to change teams.
For Love, there have been conflicting reports about his future with the Cavaliers. While the All-Star forward has maintained he is going to return, numerous sources have had the Lakers as a destination for the last couple of seasons should he ultimately leave.
After losing in the first round of the playoffs, Aldridge’s future with the Blazers is also uncertain. With the All-Star forward turning 30 in July, he is looking for his best chance to win now and could return home with the Dallas Mavericks or San Antonio Spurs. Although the Lakers are reportedly interested, they are considered a ‘distant third’ for Aldridge in free agency.
With financial flexibility for the second consecutive off-season, the Lakers will have opportunities to improve their roster. While the Chicago Bulls can match any offers for him, Jimmy Butler reportedly has ‘increased’ interest in signing an offer sheet and many free agents should be intrigued with the young foundation of Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and the second overall pick.[divide]