General manager Mitch Kupchak has a narrow window of opportunity to surround Kobe Bryant with championship talent in his final years. Nevertheless, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly averse to making any big signings this summer.
Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding reported in March that the Lakers, "are not planning a free-agent spending spree this summer."
Everything goes out the window if LeBron James opts out of his Heat contract and is interested in the Lakers this summer, but otherwise the Lakers plan to piece a roster together again next season around Kobe Bryant and save their cap space for 2015 free agents such as Kevin Love,LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol and maybe James.
That's consistent with reports that the organization probably won't be pursuing Carmelo Anthony this summer.
Nevertheless, the franchise appears to be keeping an open mind, according to USA Today's Sam Amick:
The slow pace of the Lakers' coaching search that began April 30 when Mike D'Antoni resigned has been timed deliberately with the upcoming free agency period in the NBA, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. Specifically, the idea that the Lakers could beat the odds and land the likes of the Heat's LeBron James, the New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony or any of the other superstars who may be free agents on July 1 has led the Lakers to plod through their process so as to not limit their potential options.
So at the top of L.A.'s to-do list is the possibility of pulling off a free-agent coup, stealing away the superstar likes of James and, perhaps, Anthony. If that doesn't come to fruition, the club still has to put together a rotation around Bryant and point guard Steve Nash.
There are a number of options who played with the team last season, including Nick Young, Jodie Meeks, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Farmar and—of course—Pau Gasol. While it's unlikely all of them return, they're a starting point for a team that at times showed some impressive scoring ability last season.
The problem was defense. If the franchise does make any long-term commitments this summer, a solid defender like Luol Deng could be one solution.
Boston's restricted free agent Avery Bradley and former Laker Trevor Ariza would also improve the team's perimeter defense, so don't count out a move along those lines if the price is right.
There's a good chance this will be a relatively quiet offseason, though. If the Lakers are holding out for 2015, it will look to preserve cap space and avoid signing anyone to long-term deals. It's less exciting in the short-term, but it could certainly prove prudent over the long haul.