Like every offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers are currently being linked to every big-name free agent available, but this time there seems to be more smoke around the rumors.
It is no secret the Lakers are seeking a difference-making playmaker to ease the burden off LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and so far reports have them chasing after several high-profile names.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Los Angeles is expected to cast a wide net in their search:
The Los Angeles Lakers are pursuing a third stellar player who provides playmaking and shot creation around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, sources said.
The Lakers are expected to show interest in several free agents such as Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Spencer Dinwiddie, according to sources, but another scenario has gained some traction.
One popular name that has been floated around is Chris Paul, but because of the Lakers’ limited assets and lack of cap space, a trade to acquire the Phoenix Suns guard is close to impossible:
The Lakers used their treasure chest of assets — such as promising young players in Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, and draft picks — in the Davis trade with New Orleans in 2019, which makes a superstar trade for a player like Beal or a superstar signing like Chris Paul impossible. The Lakers are expected to have the taxpayer mid-level exception at their disposal this offseason, which is not close to what Paul would command in free agency, nor would the Suns entertain a sign-and-trade with a fellow Western Conference rival. For the Lakers, the offseason is expected to be a quest for a third playmaker and shot-creator — not a faulty pursuit for a star player.
Players like Lowry, DeRozan and Dinwiddie make far more sense for the Purple and Gold to acquire because it would not cost them as much as it would take to get Paul. Even though Paul might be considered to be the best of the bunch, the Lakers would be better off going after someone else because of their roster and salary cap situation.
Lakers have discussed Hield trade with Kings
One other guard that the Lakers have been linked to although he isn’t a point guard is Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings.
The Lakers and Kings have reportedly discussed a trade involving Hield and Kyle Kuzma, which could potentially be done and wouldn’t preclude the Lakers from pursuing the other free agent point guards.
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