The Los Angeles Lakers will head into NBA free agency with their sights set on LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The storied franchise intends to make a pitch to both players in an effort to have them join forces with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.
With the Lakers eyeing the two superstars, the team likely won’t be bringing back quite a few players from last season’s squad. Three of those players that might not be brought back are Jordan Hill, Welsey Johnson. and MarShon Brooks, according to Mike Bresnahan of L.A. Times:
Jordan Hill, Wesley Johnson and MarShon Brooks aren’t expected back, and Chris Kaman will have to take a pay cut from the $3 million he made last season.
The majority of the Lakers’ squad from last season will hit the free agent market on July 1 with Pau Gasol the biggest name potentially leaving the team. Gasol will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 joining Hill, Johnson, Brooks, Kent Bazemore, Jodie Meeks, Xavier Henry, Chris Kaman, Jordan Farmar and Nick Young.
Although it is incredibly early in the process with teams able to talk to free agents starting at 9:01 p.m. PST on June 30, the consensus seems to be that most of the team’s free agents won’t return. Many of the team’s pending free agents have expressed interest in returning like Gasol, Johnson, Bazemore, Young, Farmar and Henry, but it remains uncertain who the team intends to bring back.
It’d be safe to assume that players that are willing to sign at a discount are more likely to return. Gasol, Hill, and Young will likely have a number of different teams interested in their services, but returning to Los Angeles hasn’t been ruled out just yet.
Gasol, Kaman. and Hill weren’t happy about how Mike D’Antoni used them last season, but bringing in a new head coach could change their stance about staying in Los Angeles. It’ll be interesting to see if any of these frontcourt players return.
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