Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all have the option to become free agents this summer with many believing only one of these perennial All-Star potentially changing teams. Anthony appears to be the most likely of the four mentioned above to leave their current team in free agency and the Lakers are considered one of his potential landing spots.
Even though the Lakers made an effort to clear cap space this summer, GM Mitch Kupchak said in an interview with Mike Trudell of Lakers.com the team will weigh their options and might not make a big move until the summer of 2015:
One of the premier free agents this coming summer was going to be Kobe Bryant. He’ll no longer be a free agent. We have acquired him. As we approach the summer, we will see who’s available and weigh it against what we think is a sound and prudent basketball and business decision. And we’ll decide whether to sign that player versus some other player this summer, or take somebody in a trade or make a trade, and weight it against the option of waiting another year.
With the Lakers currently going through a nightmare scenario in terms of injuries, there’s no telling where this team will end up in the standings or if a trade will be made before the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 20.
Pau Gasol has been mentioned in a few different trade scenarios over the last few months with the Lakers seemingly dangling the veteran forward in hopes to move his large contract and receive an athletic forward in return. It remains uncertain if the Lakers will be able to trade Gasol and receive equal value in return, but more than a month remains before the final buzzer sounds on the trade deadline.
As for free agency, the Lakers may very well hold off on pursuing big-names until 2015 with Kevin Love potentially being their primary target. Rumors involving Love being interested in signing with the Lakers have started to surface as the storied franchise will likely continue to be linked to the former UCLA standout.
In the meantime, the Lakers will attempt to right the ship in the second half of the 2013-14 NBA season while trying to figure out what path to take this summer and beyond.
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