The Los Angeles Lakers could be one of the biggest players in free agency during the 2014 NBA offseason. Only six teams have more money to spend this summer, and L.A. will be looking to add big names to their roster.
The 2013-2014 campaign was an embarrassing one for the Lakers, as they finished with a 27-55 record. After missing the playoffs for the first time in nine years, the organization is looking to make significant upgrades to a team that is comprised of just three players with guaranteed contracts.
Below are three free agents that are on the Lakers’ radar.
The Lakers might not be among the favorites to land Anthony, but the All-Star is at least considering going to L.A. Ken Berger of CBS Sports reports that Anthony has meeting with the Lakers set for Thursday. Prior to talking with Los Angeles, the free agent is scheduled to meet with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.
The best chance of the Lakers signing Anthony would likely be to pair him with LeBron James. Los Angeles has a lot of salary-cap space, and Anthony might be open to the idea of teaming up with James and Kobe Bryant, reforming the core that won two Olympic gold medals. However, the Lakers could only offer each player around $16 million each, and that likely won’t be enough to lure them both away from their current teams.
Finding two major free agents that are willing to accept less money might not be a realistic possibility for the Lakers. They are likely to have a better chance of signing a player to a max contract and surrounding him and Bryant with lower tier free agents. For the last four years, Bosh has been the No.3 option on his team, but he still has the ability to be someone’s top scorer and rebounder. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Lakers might try to lure the big man away from the Miami Heat.
Bosh has opted out of his contract, giving the Lakers an opportunity to offer him big money. Many around the league believe that he and Dwyane Wade did so, in order to give Miami more salary-cap flexibility. The most likely scenario has the Big 3 re-signing with the Heat, as Bosh and Wade take less money. If that is Miami’s plan, Los Angeles could swoop in with a big offer and make Bosh think twice about his decision.
After helping lead the Lakers to three straight NBA Finals, Gasol has seen several players surpass him among the best big men in the NBA. In addition to his decreased production, he’s been injury-prone, missing 55 games in the last two years. Despite his recent struggles, both sides are reportedly considering extending their relationship, which dates back to the 2007-2008 season.
Gasol will have options, as teams multiple teams, including the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, are expected to try and sign him. Once the top free agents agree to contracts, though, the number of teams that can offer him a lot of money might dwindle considerably. Now that head coach Mike D’Antoni is no longer in the picture, Gasol might have a better chance of thriving in Los Angeles. The Lakers have a lot of money to spend, and a two-year deal might make the most sense for both sides.