Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
While a disastrous 2013-14 season spent near the bottom of the power rankings is making fans in LA restless, the Lakers don’t need to become obsessed with the prospect of making a 180-degree turnaround as quickly as possible.
The 2014 offseason is set to play host to guys like LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and others, but the 2015 free-agent class may be just as loaded.
According to ESPN.com, Brook Lopez, Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love are all marquee names that could be available in 2015. So should LA put all of its eggs into the 2014 free-agent basket with that much potential talent set to be available in 2015?
Before answering, the Lakers should look at the following:
An NBA executive said of K-Love in January, “No one thinks he’s staying. Everyone knows he wants to go to the Lakers,” per CBS Sports’ Ken Berger.
Additionally, an anonymous general manager told ESPN Insider Chris Broussard (subscription required) that the All-Star power forward going to the Lakers as a free agent in 2015 is “a 100 percent certainty.”
Even though Minnesota Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said via Twitter that the swirling rumors are false, having a shot at Love (even a slim one) is a tantalizing opportunity.
His video game-quality stats haven’t translated to many wins in Minnesota, but Love is still a transcendent talent who can spread the floor with outside shooting and rebound like a beast.
The former UCLA standout has ties to Los Angeles, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he at least entertained the idea of an LA reunion in 2015—if they have a promising supporting cast.
Signing a bunch of guys on one-year deals for 2013-14 didn’t work out for the Lakers (Chris Kaman, Wesley Johnson, Xavier Henry). Doing so again for next season wouldn’t be a popular move, but it’s a viable Plan B if Lakerland can’t land a legitimate star to place beside Kobe Bryant.