NBA free agency has yet to get underway, and the Los Angeles Lakers are already off to a slow start. The rumors have been running rampant about players’ intentions as the start of free agency approaches with the Lakers seemingly coming up short in terms of landing a big name. Although Kevin Durant and Hassan Whiteside don’t appear to be coming to Los Angeles, the Lakers may be targeting other talented players like Kent Bazemore.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Bazemore is among the second-tier players the Lakers have interest in:
Lakers priorities in free agency were shooting & rim protection. Among names I’ve heard interest in: Ryan Anderson, Parsons, Batum, Bazemore, Tyler Zeller
With all of the top players on the market rumored to be passing on even meeting with the Lakers, the 16-time NBA champions will be forced to go in another direction. Bazemore is arguably one of the most intriguing players Shelburne listed with the one-time Laker having the ideal skill set to flourish in Luke Walton’s system.
Bazemore has played well since leaving the Lakers a couple of years ago for the Atlanta Hawks. The 26-year-old wing averaged 11.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game last season while shooting 35.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Nicolas Batum, Chandler Parsons, and Ryan Anderson are also solid options if they’re actually attainable. All three players have been linked to the Lakers previously, but it remains uncertain whether the team has a legitimate shot at signing any of them.
As for Tyler Zeller, the Boston Celtics have given him as well as Jared Sullinger qualifying offers officially making both players restricted free agents. Making a strong push for Zeller with an offer sheet might be a backup option if the Lakers have no shot at Whiteside like reported and don’t go after Bismack Biyombo or Festus Ezeli as expected.