Following a down season for the Los Angeles Lakers, the franchise is using this summer to rebuild.
Adding a huge piece in the 2014 NBA draft like Julius Randle and acquiring Jordan Clarkson will help, but a lot needs to be done for the Lakers to start winning again next season. In a town where it's become the expectation, Los Angeles needs things to change drastically.
One name being thrown around this summer for the Lakers is Carmelo Anthony. The superstar free agent has reportedly visited with Los Angeles and multiple other teams this summer, but hasn't made his decision official.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are also working on signing other veterans and potential role players that could help the franchise win again next year. One name is familiar for Lakers fans while the other has been a productive journeyman throughout his career.
With free agents officially able to sign on Thursday, here's a look at the most recent rumors surrounding the Lakers.
Lakers Still Waiting On Carmelo Anthony
Oh, the suspense just continues to build in Los Angeles.
Nearly a week after Anthony met with the Lakers' brass, the seven-time All Star still hasn't announced his decision on where he'll play next year. Meanwhile, more information is being leaked about the meeting between the two sides, per Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com:
The Lakers' pitch to Anthony included a conversation with Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, according to ESPN. Johnson called from his European vacation because, as one source put it, "He will always be a Laker. If he was in town, he'd have been in the meeting."
Los Angeles is determined to wait on James and Anthony before moving on in its pursuit of other free agents.
With Magic Johnson now rumored to be in on the conversations, it appears the Lakers did everything possible to lure Anthony to Hollywood. The only question now is: Will it pay off?
Begley and Shelburne go on to report that one source told them Anthony is waiting to see what LeBron James does this summer, but he "can't wait forever." Neither can the Lakers as they look to retool after a miserable 2013-14 campaign.
Though a decision could still take a few more days before Anthony officially decides, Los Angeles is apparently already looking at more potential targets. One of those just so happens to be a player Lakers fans know very well.
Los Angeles Still In the Mix for Pau Gasol
Following a season where his name was allegedly on the trade market up until the deadline, Gasol might still be considering a return to the Lakers.
The Lakers certainly aren't the only team courting Gasol, but they're a strong contender. While reporting on the probability that the New York Knicks could land the free agent, Ken Berger of CBS Sports notes the chances he lands in L.A.:
There's no word on if that's the exact order, but being near the top of the list has be reassuring for the Lakers.
In a down season for the franchise last year, Gasol was a bright spot. The 7'0" center started in 60 games, registering 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for the 27-55 team.
As for one of the other top teams on his list, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com reports he met with another team earlier this week:
"Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks met with coveted free agent Pau Gasol in Southern California on Monday, multiple league sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com," McMenamin writes. "But the team quietly considers it a 'long shot' to acquire him."
Though it's clear multiple teams want to woo the center to their team to win a championship, he might just remain loyal to the franchise with which he's already won two titles.
Jordan Crawford Drawing Interest from Lakers
He might not be one of the hottest commodities on the free-agent market, but Jordan Crawford certainly adds depth to any team.
The free agent last played for the Golden State Warriors, which marked his fourth franchise in the last four years. Marc J. Spears of Yahoo reports Crawford might just find a new home with the Lakers, with four other teams in the mix:
Despite the fact that he's been moved around throughout his young career, the guard has been a productive player. Averaging 12.2 points and 3.2 assists during his four years in the league, Crawford has also started in 99 games.
While his production slowed with the Warriors last season, he still put up 8.4 points per game in just 15.7 minutes per game with the franchise. Given a chance to stay with a team long term and prove himself, Crawford might be just the player the Lakers need as a role player next season.
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