Los Angeles Lakers Could Acquire Harrison Barnes, Festus Ezeli If Kevin Durant Signs With Golden State Warriors
The Los Angeles Lakers are poised to make big splashes in free agency this summer, as they are expected to target big-name free agents. And according to recent NBA rumors, the Lakers could land Golden State Warriors key players Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli.Advertisement
Barnes and Ezeli will become restricted free agents in July, which means other teams could offer big deals but the Warriors will have the opportunity to match and keep both players. They are lined-up among the possible targets for the Lakers after the storied franchise named Luke Walton as their new head coach.
Barnes will be one of most coveted free agents this summer after averaging 11.7 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Warriors this season. The 24-year-old forward said he wants to stay with the Warriors but admitted that there are factors that are out of his control.
“People say, ‘Do you want to be here in Golden State?’ A lot of it is, look, I love Golden State,” Barnes told NBA.com. “I’d love to be here. But there’s also some other factors that factor into that.”
Like Barnes, Ezeli also prefers to stay in the Bay Area. The Warriors are also eyeing to keep both players but it remains to be seen if they will have enough cap space, especially if they win in the race to sign Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, who is the top free agent this summer.
If the Warriors succeed in their pursuit of Durant, they will likely let go of both Barnes and Ezeli, as they are also tied to lucrative deals with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, and will offer a max contract to Curry in 2017. If Durant decides to join forces with Curry and Thompson, the Lakers could be on top of Barnes’ list of destination.
Incoming Lakers coach Walton is familiar with Barnes. Former NBA player Mychal Thompson, Klay’s father, also also told ESPN Barnes could turn into a superstar if he signs with the Lakers, where he could be one of the top offensive options. Ezeli, on the other hand, will add ceiling to the Lakers’ frontcourt.