The Los Angeles Lakers rumors are flying as the NBA offseason continues drawing closer. It was another rough season for the Lakers, but they believe that their future is bright. Everything will begin this offseason to see whether Los Angeles can bring in the necessary talent to get back into contention in the next year or two.
One player that the Lakers could target in free agency is Miami Heat impending free agent big man Hassan Whiteside. He is set to hit the open market, and Timothy Downs of Rant Sports opined that he is one of the top five players that the Lakers must try to sign this coming offseason.
Los Angeles is going to have a lot of cap room this coming offseason. They could have up to $62.6 million to spend depending on what other decisions they make regarding their roster.
During the 2015-16 regular season with the Heat, Whiteside put up big numbers once again. He averaged 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game throughout the year. Those numbers would be a huge addition for the Lakers and would finally give them the dominant and athletic big man that they have been searching for over the last few years.
At just 26-years-old, Whiteside would be a cornerstone piece for the rebuild that the Lakers are going through.
Whiteside will likely be very interested in signing with the Lakers in free agency. Los Angeles has always been a top free agency destination and they can offer him the type of deal that he will be looking to receive.
There is no telling whether Pat Riley and the Heat are going to be willing to give Whiteside the max money that he wants. They could probably work something out with him for a max deal, but they may not view him as that kind of a franchise piece. Miami will also have to re-sign Dwyane Wade this offseason when free agency opens up.
That being said, the Lakers are not going to be the only team interested in stealing Whiteside away from the Heat. Many teams will line up with interest in him.
Free agency is going to be crazy this coming offseason. The NBA has not seen the type of activity that teams will be able to participate in this year. Starting with the major cap increase to all of the big names that are hitting the market, there are going to be rumors floating around everywhere surrounding every team.
Luke Walton has been hired to be the Lakers’ next head coach and there is a lot of excitement surrounding him as well. Bringing in a young head coach like Walton is a bold move. He showed a lot of potential during his brief stint coaching the Golden State Warriors earlier this season and young players are always excited to play for a younger head coach.
Everything seems to be falling into place nicely for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant may be on his way out of town after an amazing career in Los Angeles, but even his departure could help the Lakers.
Expect to see the Lakers take an aggressive approach to free agency. Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan are two other names that the Lakers are expected to pursue, while Paul George’s name has come up as a trade target for them as well.
Whiteside may not have a hyped up name like those three players, but the impact that he would make on the Lakers would be huge.
Do you think that the Los Angeles Lakers should try to sign Hassan Whiteside when free agency opens up this offseason? Would he be a franchise-caliber player for the Lakers? Let us know in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/David Zalubowski]