With the retirement of Kobe Bryant, the Lakers have a massive amount of salary cap space to sign a free agent or two this offseason.
The hard part is going to be convincing the top-tier free agents to actually sign with the team.READ MORE: Woman Says She Was Refused Service At An Encino Dunkin' Donuts For Being Deaf
With a core built around Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D’Angelo Russell and a top pick (hopefully this year, but potentially next year), the Lakers certainly need to add a couple more pieces to the puzzle before they can compete in the NBA again.
Here are the top free agents the Lakers could go after and possibly even sign.
Demar DeRozan: He has a 1-year $9,5 million player option he will almost certainly turn down to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. With Bryant retiring, Derozan could fill his spot very easily and make an incredibly nice addition to the purple and gold.READ MORE: Illegal Marijuana Grow Bust Nets Nearly 30,000 Plants And Leads To 31 Arrests In San Bernardino
Kevin Durant: According to Shaquille O’Neal, this possibility is not that insane to think about. O’Neal has predicted that Durant will in fact sign with the Lakers this offseason, which would start a whole new era for the Lakers. Not sure where Shaq is getting his insight from, but man would that be a game-changer.
Hassan Whiteside: The Miami Heat big man has proved himself to be one of the best centers in the NBA. With Roy Hibbert off the books, the Lakers have a gaping whole at the 5 spot, and Whiteside would be a perfect fit.
DeMarcus Cousins*: Cousins is not a free agent, unlike the first three names mentioned, but the Lakers could indeed try and trade for the Kings big man. With the Lakers’ projected a top-2 pick in this year’s lottery, it is very easy to see Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak offering a package of Randle/Russell/Clarkson plus the draft pick to the Kings in exchange for Cousins.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Related Hospitalizations Continue To Drop In Los Angeles County
Nobody: Probably the most realistic option of the group. Aside from the Lakers most-likely keeping their top 2 draft pick this season, It is very possible that the Lakers strike out on the major free agents (yet again), and must wait another year before hitting the jackpot. But hey, Russell Westbrook is a free agent next season, so Lakers fans have a full year of hoping, dreaming, photoshopping, and praying that the team will once again return to it’s former glory.