NBA rumors have indicated the Los Angeles Lakers will look to rebuild their roster through free agency this summer, indicating what types of moves the team may make between now and July 1 to regain their championship edge.
Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak admitted as much during a recent interview with ESPN. In discussing what the future holds for the team now that 20-year star Kobe Bryant has retired, Kupchak explained that the team doesn’t want to continue its rebuild through the draft alone.
“As much as we’d like to build through the draft with young players, that could take 10 to 15 years, and we don’t feel like we have that kind of timeline here in Los Angeles.”
That means the Lakers could be poised to part ways with many players on their roster. Just six of the 15 players on this year’s team remain under contract, meaning only D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Anthony Brown, Nick Young, and Lou Williams are committed for 2016-2017. Jordan Clarkson is also expected to resign with the team, meaning Los Angeles has more than half the roster turning over after their franchise worst 17-65 record this year.
Attracting free agents has been a problem for the Lakers in recent years, especially with legendary athlete (and ball-hawk) Bryant having the offense flow through him when healthy and on the court. Now, Kobe’s retirement will allow the team’s management to sell a new offensive strategy and bright future to potential free agents this summer, Mitch Kupchak explained.
“In the last two years, we would try to sell and advertise our best assets, which continue to be playing for the franchise, the organization, the city of Los Angeles, our fan base, business opportunities, connections that you might make here that you might not make in another city, lifestyle. As each season goes by, we get more and more to sell. Maybe that would make an impact… But we do know that we’re better off now than we were a year ago and certainly better off than we were two years ago, and we’ll sell whatever we have to sell to try to encourage players to come here.”
The wide-open roster is yielding yet another attractive reason for many free agents to consider the Los Angeles Lakers this summer. At nearly $60 million dollars under the salary cap, Los Angeles can afford to pay the maximum for two proven superstars this year. NBA rumors have indicated the Lakers will target Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant, among others, according to Basketball Insider.
Do the future plans include Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott? Rumors swirled that the current Los Angeles head coach could be a victim of the team’s purge, ending a tumultuous two-year run for the Lakers that resulted in only 38 wins.
The New York Post points to rumors that the former Thunder head coach Scott Brooks may be eyeing a return to the sidelines with the Los Angeles Lakers. The move would be an interesting one, considering how Kevin Durant revered his former mentor. Even if the Lakers could not convince Kevin to leave the only NBA franchise he’s played for, hiring Scott Brooks could give Los Angeles an edge in 2017 when Russell Westbrook becomes a free agent.
Other rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers have involved a return by another legend. While some fans may hope that Phil Jackson may return in some capacity this year, those rumors have not proven true thus far. Phil has asserted he plans to continue running the New York Knicks next season, The Inquisitr reported.
What do you think about the plans the Los Angeles Lakers have made according to multiple NBA rumors? Leave your thought in the comment section below.
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