NBA Free Agency 2016: Lakers Young Trio Have Changed The Dynamic
The Los Angeles Lakers have bolstered their chances of landing a marquee free agent or two this summer. How? The budding trio of Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell.Advertisement
Over the last few off-seasons, the Lakers failed to recruit superstars such as Carmelo Anthony and LaMarcus Aldridge, despite extravagant presentations and the active involvement of Kobe Bryant. There’s a feeling within the league that free agents will once again “consider” the Lakers since Bryant is retiring and the team is loaded with cap space and promising young talent.
On Wednesday, coach Byron Scott told LakersNation.com that the team will prove to be a hot destination for free agents this summer. “I think most players that are free agents will probably look at our roster and look at our young guys and see if those guys developed over the year and see what their type of potential is before they make a decision,” said the former showtime Laker.
Scott, who was previously criticized for benching Russell, has earned some praise since the All-Star break for helping the development of the young trio. “My job right now is to keep trying to develop these young guys, keep them playing well, keep them playing together,” added Scott.
Lakers have plenty to spend…
The Purple & Gold will be armed with approximately $68 million to spend in free agency. With that much money, they could built a tile contender overnight, provided marquee superstars such as Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside and Al Horford consider Los Angeles as a destination. Also, don’t forget that Lakers still have the opportunity to add either Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram or another promising rookie to the roster.
Russell also echoed coach Scott’s feelings. “If we keep playing at a high level, sky’s the limit, and that could probably dictate who (free agent) wants to come here,” the No. 2 draft pick said on Wednesday.
The former Ohio State product reckons the Lakers have enough talent to attract free agents. “Or, feeling like we don’t need to bring this guy, because we’ve got such and such or something like that, so I feel like we can play a certain part. But, I don’t really worry about stuff like that, because I feel like it could take my mind off what’s important.”
Will the Lakers change the fortunes and land a free agent or two?