At the 2015 NBA Draft this past week, the Los Angeles Lakers selected D’Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr. and Anthony Brown. With the storied franchise passing on Jahlil Okafor, general manager Mitch Kupchak shared he will be pursuing frontcourt players in free agency.
One name that has surprisingly emerged during the off-season is current Portland Trail Blazers All-Star, LaMarcus Aldridge. With the Lakers reportedly moving up on his list and having confidence in signing him, they are preparing a four-year, $80 million contract offer according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times:
All their financial eggs now go into the big-man basket. They want to talk to LaMarcus Aldridge, he wants to listen, and if all goes well for both sides, the four-time All-Star signs a four-year, $80-million deal to be the Lakers’ power forward.
Aldridge is considered the top big man available in this year’s free agency to go along with Marc Gasol, DeAndre Jordan and Kevin Love. While the Lakers will be among the teams to visit Jordan at his home in Houston, Gasol is reportedly not interested in coming to Los Angeles and Love has indicated to the Cleveland Cavaliers he will re-sign.
Heading into free agency on July 1, the Lakers will have a projected $24 million in cap space should they decline Jordan Hill’s team option. With the return of Kobe Bryant from injury and establishing a young core in the last two drafts, the storied franchise hopes to add an All-Star caliber player to the mix this summer.