Report: Lakers working to clear out more cap space to land both LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan
UPDATE: The amazing Larry Coon ran the numbers in detail over at his CBAFAQ and came to the decision the Lakers could not get both on max contracts, not and keep Kobe (and they are not trading Kobe). Now, maybe you could get one or both to take a slight discount (a couple million) to make this work, but those guys didn’t become free agents this year to take discounts.
The other option is to land, maybe, Aldridge at the max and another top free agent just below that number — someone like Dwyane Wade or Robin Lopez, depending on what direction the Lakers want to go. Either way they are still thinking big.
These are the Lakers their fan base expects — not just thinking big, they are thinking massive.
The Lakers have the cap space to offer a max contract to someone, and they have meetings set with the biggest names looking to move — LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe, among others.
But why just settle for one? The Lakers are trying to clear out the room to get a couple, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.
The Lakers are working to unload contracts, trying to create significantly more salary cap space, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2015
Around the league, executives believe the Lakers are pursuing space to offer free agent deals to LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2015
I have to start here: If the Lakers hadn’t offered Kobe Bryant the largest contract in the NBA — $25 million next season — and gotten him to take a little bit of a discount, this process would be a lot easier. The only guy they can try to move to really help them is Nick Young (and there’s not a great market for volume shooters).
It’s a long shot the Lakers land those two (one of Jordan’s issues is he wants more recognition and a bigger role than he’s had with the Clippers, would that happen here with Kobe Bryant, LaMarcus Aldridge and D’Angelo Russell?). All of the top players are meeting with multiple teams — Jordan and Monroe for a piece to start, Aldridge seven. Those guys will have options. But even if the Lakers strike out completely with all the big names this summer, this is the kind of news they want their fans to see — “look, we’re trying to go big here.”
More than that, the Lakers believe that after a rough couple of years, they are primed to return to the NBA’s elite. Look at what Jeanie Buss — the Buss child with the most power in their complex family control of the team — told Sam Amick of the USA Today.
Even with the restrictions of the new CBA, the Lakers and the city of Los Angeles are a big draw to free agents. Maybe not the draw they were 15 years ago, but they are a draw. The Lakers are in the mix for the best on the board — and they are being understandably greedy and going after as much of that talent as they can get.
It’s the Lakers being the Lakers again.