The 2014 NBA draft is Thursday and the Association's free-agency period begins shortly after. Following a lackluster 2013 season, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to make waves in many areas over the summer.
Or so the rumors say.
There's plenty of speculation circulating around the web, as the Lakers look to right the ship heading into the 2014 season. Los Angeles is still without a head coach; however, according to a tweet from ESPN's Chris Broussard, that may change soon:
Byron Scott frontrunner for Lakers job. Has been talking w/Kobe in coach/player terms. Magic, Worthy, MCooper advocating 4 him w /Busses.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 24, 2014
Still, the Lakers have plenty of work to do in order to get back into contention—even after the head coaching vacancy is filled.
Let's take a look at a few juicy rumors involving how the Lakers intend to shore up their roster this offseason.
Lakers to Trade No. 7 Pick?
We already know the Lakers aren't interested in rebuilding. This is a team that wants to get back into win-now mode.
Los Angeles has a couple of nice NBA-ready options with the No. 7 pick in this year's draft, but according to Chad Ford of ESPN (Insider required), the team may prefer to go with a veteran instead:
The Lakers have been very active in looking for veteran for their pick. Players like Klay Thompson, Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young are all interesting to them. This is a team that wants to win now. Randle or Smart could help, but a veteran will even be more ready.
Ford mentioned that the Lakers have a "strong" interest in acquiring Michael Carter-Williams and Thaddeus Young for their No. 7 pick and guard Steve Nash.
The reigning Rookie of the Year was fantastic for the Sixers last season, averaging 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game, and Young would bring a nice physical presence down low to Los Angeles.
Anthony Has Demands
Carmelo Anthony is known to be a coveted target of the Lakers. After all, Broussard took to Twitter to announce Bryant may have already been courting the forward:
Melo returning 2day from Paris. Flying 2 LA. Sources say Kobe, n Europe 2, met w/him but Kobe denied it. Said he'll meet w/Melo n future tho— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) June 24, 2014
Although, should Anthony decide to make Los Angeles his new home, he has a request before he makes his decision, according to a report from Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
The Lakers are in the advantageous position of having enough room under the salary cap to make a maximum offer to Anthony without having to clear any salary, but it is believed Anthony would want them to strengthen their roster before he would seriously consider a move to L.A. Sources say the Lakers, to that end, have been exploring their options with the No. 7 pick in Thursday's draft and have told teams they are prepared to package the pick with the expiring contract of Steve Nash(owed $9.7 million next season) for the right offer.
So, Anthony wants some more talent in L.A. That's not surprising considering the roster's current state of flux.
Could the aforementioned trade for Carter-Williams and Young be enough to satisfy Anthony's demand? Perhaps one deal will lead to another.
Nick Young to Be a Priority?
On Tuesday, SportsCenter tweeted the news that Lakers small forward Nick Young had decided to opt out of his contract:
THIS JUST IN: Lakers G/F Nick Young opts out of contract with Lakers and will become free agent. pic.twitter.com/EYYP6DrjGS— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 24, 2014
This isn't to say Young wants out of L.A. completely. It actually appears to be the exact opposite, according to a report from Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com: "According to a league source, Young wants to be made "a priority" by the Lakers this summer, however, if he is to stay in L.A."
That may not be a bad move by Young, as Los Angeles would like to keep as much veteran talent on board. The forward proved to be a valuable asset off the bench last season, averaging a career-high 17.9 points per game.
Thoughts of re-signing Young have already begun to surface on Twitter, as Jeff G. of Power 106 in L.A. voiced his opinion:
It appears as though Los Angeles may need to add one more name to its free-agency to-do list.