NBA Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Are Targeting Atlanta Hawks Star Al Horford

Though they are one of the worst teams in the NBA last season, the Los Angeles Lakers are still hoping to make a big splash. According to ESPN, the Lakers will be targeting Al Horford when free agency begins this week. The Atlanta Hawks forward is considered one of the top prizes this summer.

After two decades, Kobe Bryant has finally decided to walk away from the NBA. That means that the Los Angeles Lakers have a void when it comes to star power. Al Horford isn’t nearly as big of a star as Bryant, but he’s still a bigger star than anyone that is currently on the Lakers roster.

Right now, the Los Angeles Lakers are one of the three NBA teams that get to speak with Al Horford first. The other two teams are the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons. Each team is hoping to lock down Horford before he even gets a chance to speak with other teams.

NBA legend Kobe Bryant Kobe Bryant [Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images]Al Horford has spent nine years in the NBA. All of those seasons were with the Atlanta Hawks. It will be a bit interesting to see him wearing a different jersey if he decides to leave the Hawks.

A big reason why the Atlanta Hawks could lose Al Horford via free agency is because they are focused on trying to sign the biggest free agent in the NBA. Hawks management is still attempting to get Durant and his representatives to sit down for a meeting, as reported by ESPN.

Another reason why the Atlanta Hawks might lose Al Horford is because there are some within the organization that are afraid to pay the maximum contract to a big man that has played close to a decade in the NBA. His body has already taken a beating.

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, the Los Angeles Lakers have approximately $60 million to spend in free agency. That means that they have more than enough salary cap space to sign one of the best players in the NBA. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak has that luxury in his back pocket.

Being a rebuilding team, Mitch Kupchak is going to have to make the greatest pitch of his life if he wants Al Horford to join the Los Angeles Lakers. Since he is now 30 years of age, Horford might want to find a team that can compete for an NBA Championship now.

Al Horford has long wanted to play power forward in the NBA. However, the Los Angeles Lakers have Julius Randle. That means that signing with the Lakers would require Horford to play the center position. Of course, with small ball becoming so prevalent, Horford might be best off being the biggest guy on the court.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle Julius Randle [Photo by Sean M Haffey/Getty Images]Since this could be his final season as the general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers, there are those that believe that Mitch Kupchak is trying to swing for the fences. ESPN is reporting that Kupchak still believes that the Lakers can get a meeting with Kevin Durant.

Pursuing Al Horford as a secondary plan is a sign that Mitch Kupchak wants to make a splash in free agency. He’s trying to convince the Los Angeles Lakers fan base to give him a couple of more seasons as the general manager.

The odds of the Los Angeles Lakers acquiring the services of Al Horford in free agency are pretty slim. However, management is going to still give it a try because they desperately need to make something happen after a couple of bad seasons.

[Photo by Kevin C Cox/Getty Images]