Free Agency is now in full swing as teams have made their priority calls, have started to have meetings, and already inking players to deals. For a review, I have already covered some strategies the Lakers could take in allocating their FA dollars and taken a look at positional priorities and targets for the front office to focus on.
With that, below is what we know and how things are looking with the Lakers’ pursuit of players and what is going on around the rest of the league…
- Shortly after midnight (EST), the Lakers sat down with LaMarcus Aldridge to pitch him on joining the team. I have seen reports that the Lakers felt better about this meeting than ones with Dwight and Carmelo. I have also seen the below tweet, so who knows.
Lakers didn't make strong impression in Aldridge meeting, sources say. Spurs can close on him. LMA expected to make decision fairly soon.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2015
- As I write this, the Spurs are meeting with Aldridge, selling him on teaming up with a championship core. The Spurs have, reportedly, already come to terms with Kawhi Leonard on an extension and retained Danny Green’s services. The free up the cap space to sign Aldridge, they have also reportedly traded Tiago Splitter to the Hawks. Heading into the FA process, it was said the Spurs were “in the lead” to sign Aldridge. I think that is still the case.
- The Lakers are not done having meetings, though. They will meet with DeAndre Jordan later on Wednesday in Los Angeles after having Mitch Kupchak and Byron Scott fly to Washington D.C. to meet with Greg Monroe.
- The other news of the day is that the Lakers will also get a meeting with Kevin Love. I don’t believe the former Bruin will be leaving Cleveland, but the fact he’s taking this meeting at all speaks to at least some interest in hearing what the team has to say and, likely, the brand allure the Lakers continue to possess. For what it’s worth, at least one plugged in national writer thinks the Lakers “have a shot” with Love.
Can also confirm @Chris_Broussard report from last night: Kevin Love will be meeting with the Lakers. And I'm told they have a shot.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) July 1, 2015
- If the Lakers wanted a wing who could potentially be an impact player, there aren’t many left. In fact, it seems only restricted free agent Tobias Harris is left from my top five choices — and he was number five. As noted above, Danny Green stayed with the Spurs. Khris Middleton will stay with the Bucks. DeMarre Carroll has reached an agreement with the Raptors. And Al-Farouq Aminu was the first domino to fall in FA last night by leaving the Mavs for the Blazers.
- There is good news for those who want Harris, however. Reports are that the Magic are going hard after Paul Millsap. After drafting Mario Hezonja in June and Aaron Gordon last season, adding Millsap would make Tobias a pretty expensive redundancy. Should any team want him, he may be more easily gettable than he was just a month ago. There will be heavy competition for his services, of course.
- Shifting gears back to their own free agents, Ed Davis received a call from the Lakers shortly after free agency opened last night. But that call was only one of several received by Davis. There will be strong interest in him on the secondary market after guys like Aldridge, Love, and Monroe make up their minds.
- Wayne Ellington is also receiving interest from several teams — including the Lakers. As a 4th or 5th guard, Ellington’s skill set is useful.
- Lastly, with all the major moves being discussed and made, the Lakers made a smaller one yesterday by guaranteeing the salary on Robert Sacre’s contract for next season. Sacre comes cheap (less than a million for next year) is a fine end of the bench big man, and can be used in a trade (with a salary value totaling around $1.6 million).