The LA Lakers are easily on their way to their worst record ever, whether it was in Minneapolis or since moving to Los Angeles. As of Monday afternoon, the Lakers are 9-41 and in last place in the Western Conference after losing their last 10 in a row. Something needs to change, and over the next two summers, those big changes could come during free agency as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook may both end up with the Lakers.
Right now, the Lakers have a little bit less than three weeks to make some moves before the NBA trading deadline in mid-February. They’ve been connected to rumors of Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, and even Blake Griffin.
While a trade is something that should be done, free agency is where the Lakers could really help improve their current situation. Lakers Nation reports that it really isn’t out of the question for the Lakers to land two of the biggest free agents in a long time over the course of the next two summers.
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN has said that the chances of Durant and Westbrook both ending up with the Lakers is greater than many may think. Smith said that it is indeed a “big possibility” for that dangerous duo to end up in Los Angeles.
It’s been rumored since earlier this season that Kevin Durant actually was leaning toward signing with the Lakers in free agency. Smith confirmed that report and has said that it’s still exactly the same way now as the season is halfway over.
“One of the biggest reasons I’m told, that Kevin Durant may have the Lakers at the top of his list, is because the Lakers have been led to believe, by whom specifically I do not know, but the Lakers have been led to believe that it is a very good chance that the following year Russell Westbrook is coming.”
Durant will become a free agent at the end of this year. In the summer 2017, Russell Westbrook, his teammate with the Oklahoma City Thunder, will land in free agency. If Durant ends up with the Lakers, he is very likely going to campaign to get Westbrook signed by them as well.
HNGN reports that Durant may only take a one-year deal wherever he may sign this summer so that he can become a free agent again in 2017. Not only would this give him a better chance of teaming with Westbrook again, but it’s also when the NBA salary cap is expected to top out at its highest.
Right now, it’s looking like the summer of 2017 is turning into something similar of the summer of 2010. That summer, the Miami Heat were the center of NBA attention as they had signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh to partner with Dwyane Wade as the big three.
It’s very possible that next year, there could be a lot of big moves if teams don’t lock up their big-time players now. Here are just some of the names becoming unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2017:
- LeBron James
- Dwight Howard
- DeMar DeRozan
- Dirk Nowitzki
- Derrick Rose
- Derrick Williams
- Tim Duncan
- Blake Griffin
- Ty Lawson
- Russell Westbrook
- Stephen Curry
- Zach Randolph
- J.R. Smith
- Andrew Bogut
- Andre Iguodala
- Jrue Holiday
There are a lot more that will be on that list, and depending on what kind of deal some free agents in summer of 2016 sign, they could also be free agents in 2017. A lot of those names could end up looking to work together toward a title and going to a team that may have the money to spend.
The LA Lakers are having the worst season in franchise history and will be losing Kobe Bryant to retirement. If the Lakers can somehow sign Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to free agent deals over the next two years, the rest of the NBA could be in trouble as it would instantly turn them into contenders.
[Image by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images]