After suffering a disappointing 2018-19 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be more aggressive in chasing their second superstar in the 2019 NBA free agency. Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson and General Manager Rob Pelinka purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019, where the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, and Kemba Walker will become unrestricted free agents.
However, despite having LeBron James and enough salary cap space, the Lakers aren’t considered as the favorite landing spot for incoming free agent superstars in the 2019 NBA offseason, according to Lakers Nation. If the Lakers fail to acquire at least one of their top targets, they could keep an eye on “second-tier” free agents. In an appearance on Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, Tim MacMahon of ESPN entered the possibility that the Lakers could go after DeMarcus Cousins of the Golden State Warriors or DeAndre Jordan of the New York Knicks in free agency.
“That’s definitely a rumor out there. DeAndre Jordan, too.”
As of now, there’s no doubt that DeMarcus Cousins and DeAndre Jordan are much better than any centers on the Lakers’ roster. When he failed to secure a max deal last summer, Cousins has been rumored to be interested in joining the Lakers. However, during that time, the Lakers decided to prioritize players who could immediately contribute to the team, rather than wait for Cousins to recover from his injury.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 19, 2019
DeMarcus Cousins is currently focused on helping the Warriors win their third consecutive NBA championship, but when the season is over, he’s expected to seek a huge payday in free agency. Cousins is yet to regain his All-Star form, but he will undeniably make the Lakers a more competitive team in the 2019-20 NBA season. His ability to space the floor will be beneficial for LeBron James, as it will make it easier for him to penetrate the opposing team’s defense.
Meanwhile, DeAndre Jordan emerged as the Lakers’ top target on the buyout market after the Dallas Mavericks sent him to the New York Knicks before the February NBA trade deadline. Unfortunately for the Lakers, the Knicks decided to keep Jordan for the remainder of the 2018-19 NBA season, believing that his presence could help them recruit Kevin Durant in free agency. Jordan said that he’s currently happy with the Knicks, but he’s still expected to entertain offers from other NBA teams when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer.