Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: D'Angelo Russell and Kawhi Leonard Are Top Targets
The Los Angeles Lakers have already made one enormous move since the end of last season, landing Anthony Davis in a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Pelicans. Now, with free agency fast approaching, the Lakers must surround Davis and LeBron James with talent.
Here’s a look at all the latest rumors surrounding the Lakers and who they will attempt to add when free agency opens.
Russell reunion is possible
D'Angelo Russell and the Lakers are both reportedly interested in a reunion. The two sides already have a meeting set during the start of free agency and it looks like a great fit.
There’s just one complication here. The Brooklyn Nets can match any offer Russell gets because he’s a restricted free agent. Which means, if the Nets miss out on Kyrie Irving or other top tier guys, they may just opt to match whatever deal Russell gets in free agency.
During the 2018-19 campaign, he posted career-highs in points (21.1), assists (7.0), rebounds (3.9) and minutes (30.2) per game, while shooting a career-best 36.9 percent from 3-point range. His PER of 19.48 was also a career high.
Lakers have secured a Kawhi meeting
There were some questions about Kawhi Leonard’s desire to go to the Lakers, but they’ll have a chance to sell him. Chris B. Haynes reports Leonard will grant a meeting to the Lakers when free agency begins and Leonard starts meeting with potential landing spots in Los Angeles.
Just the meeting is a huge get for the Lakers, who just cleared up enough cap space to offer a potential free agent a full max contract. They’re underdogs for now, but anything can happen.
Collison could be an option
Desperate for backcourt help, the Lakers could turn their attention to Darren Collison if they miss out on the big names in free agency. The 10-year veteran point guard would be a solid fit for the Lakers, given he’s a Southern California native and went to UCLA.
With the Indiana Pacers the last two seasons, Collison’s numbers have declined a bit as his age has increased. He finished the 2018-19 season averaging 11.2 points, 6.0 assists and 3.1 rebounds in 28.1 minutes per game. He’s a solid shooter (40.7 percent from beyond the arc) and doesn’t need to be the primary ball-handler to be effective. He and Frank Vogel were also both with the Pacers from 2010 to 2012.
Obviously Collison would need to be willing to take less money to return home, but given the chance to chase a title he might do that.
Jordan, Lopez both on the radar
The Lakers are interested in both DeAndre Jordan and Brook Lopezto play center. While neither guy is in their prime, both have close ties to Los Angeles and could be solid complementary pieces on the roster.
Jordan split time between the Knicks and Mavericks last season, averaging 11.0 points, 13.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 29.7 minutes per game. While he’s not the force he once was, he will likely still be a impact rebounder and rim-protector over the next few seasons.
Lopez wound up having a fantastic season with the Bucks last season. He averaged 12.5 points and 4.9 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per game. He became a solid 3-point shooting, hitting 36.5 percent from deep. Milwaukee wants to bring him back and will almost certainly offer him more money than the Lakers can.