The official start of 2015 NBA free agency is on Wednesday, July 1, and that is when teams can sign players as they wish. A number of big-time names are set to become free agents or have opted out of deals to become one, so a frenzy is set to ensue. The Los Angeles Lakers are already rumored to have a number of targets, and they include Dwyane Wade and LaMarcus Aldridge.
On Monday, Wade decided to not pick up his option with the Miami Heat for next year and therefore will become a free agent. ESPN reports that he was scheduled to make $16.1 million next season, and wants a deal that will average at least $16 million over the next three years.
It is rumored that he could work with the Heat and stay in Miami, but the team wants him to take less money for next year’s big free agent class. This has led to rumors that there is mutual interest from Wade and the Lakers in a deal.
LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers is a huge target for many teams in free agency, but his visits start with the L.A. Lakers.
@aldridge_12 itinerary starts Tuesday at 9 PDT (midnight EDT), with the Lakers, and goes, in order: HOU, SA, PHO, DAL, TOR thru Thursday.
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) June 30, 2015
Many believe that the San Antonio Spurs have the upper-hand in signing Aldridge, but the Lakers aren’t going to just let him go without a fight. Aldridge could make a huge impact underneath for the Lakers, who need it next season.
Pro Basketball Talk states that Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler really wants to sign a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. The problem here is that Butler is a Restricted Free Agent, and the Bulls really want to keep him. With that, the Bulls have the right to match any offer sheet he signs with another team and can retain him.
But all the latest signals continue to stress that both Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy are HIGHLY likely to be back with the Bulls — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2015
Another key free agent is Iman Shumpert, who was pivotal in helping get the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2015 NBA Finals. It appears now that the Lakers have interest in bringing in Shumpert, but they will have competition from the Mavericks, Bucks, and Raptors. The Cavs may want to retain him, as well.
Sources: Lakers, Mavericks & Bucks interested in @I_Am_Iman (Shumpert). FYI: @KingJames is a big fan of Shump & his defense.
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 30, 2015
The LA Lakers could end up being big players in 2015 NBA free agency, but a lot of things are just rumors until everything officially begins on Wednesday. Dwyane Wade, LaMarcus Aldridge, Iman Shumpert, and Jimmy Butler may be targets, but anything can happen.
[Image via Getty Images]