After missing the NBA playoffs for the sixth consecutive season, this offseason may be the most important one in Los Angeles Lakers history as they look to return to relevance.
Only LeBron James and young players like Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart, Moritz Wagner, and Isaac Bonga are currently under contract for the 2019-20 NBA season, so the front office will have a lot of work to do. The Lakers also struck gold by moving up from the No. 11 to the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery.
Going into free agency, the Lakers will certainly have their sights on some of the top All-Star-caliber players that will be on the open market like Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, and Jimmy Butler. They could also attempt to trade for some elite players like Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Mike Conley, or Kyle Lowry.
It appears the Lakers have a back-up plan in place if they strike out on all the top All-Star players. According to Sean Deveny of Sporting News, one player they could pursue is Derrick Favors if the Utah Jazz ultimately decline his team option:
Another guy who, according to sources, the Lakers have an interest in is big man Derrick Favors. The Jazz have a team option on Favors that must be exercised by July 6 or he will be a free agent.
Favors is a former No. 3 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft out of Georgia Tech and despite being in the league for nine seasons already, he is just 27-years-old.
He played in 76 games for the Jazz last season and averaged 11.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while shooting 58.6% from the field.
Favors has never been an All-Star, but he has been a starter in the league his entire career and would be an upgrade at the center position for Los Angeles.
It will be interesting to see what type of contract the Lakers would offer a player like Favors. If the Lakers don’t add a second All-Star player to pair with James, then they could do what they did last summer and only hand out one-year deals to preserve the cap space for when Davis finally becomes a free agent in 2020.
If the Lakers decide to no longer use that strategy, then they can use the cap space to hand out some multi-year deals to quality role players that would also greatly improve the team. Either way, the Lakers are in a good spot going into this summer.