The Los Angeles Lakers know that the remaining window of the Kobe Bryant era is closing rapidly, and are reportedly targeting a handful of big free agents in an attempt to dig out of the basement of the Western Conference and become a contender again.
One of those targets is one of the biggest free agents of all — literally. Seven-footer Ryan Hollis has been talking to the Los Angeles Lakers, though they’re not the only suitor. A Tweet from Sirius/XM NBA Radio after Hollis made a recent appearance noted that “he’s been in talks with the [Miami] Heat, [Sacramento] Kings, [Chicago] Bulls, Lakers, [and San Antonio] Spurs, among others.”
Hollis would likely add bench depth for the Lakers as Jordan Hill is projected to start at center with Robert Sacre and Ed Davis as backups. Hollis averaged 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds a game.
The Los Angeles Lakers have been busy in other areas of free agency, the Los Angeles Times notes.
“In August, the Lakers reportedly worked out big men Greg Stiemsma, Daniel Orton and Dexter Pittman. Stiemsma has since gotten a guaranteed deal with the Toronto Raptors.
The Lakers have also auditioned forward Michael Beasley twice.”
While the team has been looking for some bench depth, they have also been targeting other high-impact players as well. Rumors indicate that the Lakers are interested in acquiring Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo, and could be interested in Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe, but wouldn’t be able to move in on him until he becomes a free agent next year.
The work appears to be an effort to win one more title before Kobe Bryant retires. The team has already committed to conserving Kobe’s minutes and his work on the floor this year to allow him to enter the final stretch — and potentially the playoffs — as healthy as possible.
“We know how hard he works, we know how driven he is,” Lakers coach Byron Scott told KPCC. “But I think he’s at the point too where he’s so much more mature, and he understands that he only has a few more miles left on that body, you know, maybe two, maybe three years. And I think he’s probably more acceptable to accept the fact that you can’t practice every day. There might be some games where you can’t play this game or that game. But that’s all to be determined.”
At least the Los Angeles Lakers will be getting a healthy Kobe Bryant to start the season. Kobe just made his annual visit to Germany to meet with a world-renowned specialist, a routine visit to keep up on the health of his knee.
[Image via ESPN]