Lakers Rumors: Whispers from Los Angeles on Tobias Harris and More

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2014

Orlando Magic forward Tobias Harris (12) reacts after shooting a 3-point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014, in Miami. The Magic defeated the Heat 102-101. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Somehow, someway, things will work out for the Los Angeles Lakers. They always do.

There is a reason the team has 16 championship banners. The front office has a knack for making timely moves, be it in the draft or via trades, that set the Lakers up for immediate and future success. 

It is no wonder, then, that there are some rumors surrounding Los Angeles and future roster moves. Read on to get the latest.

Tobias Harris

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders passed along an update on Los Angeles’ potential interest in Tobias Harris:

The New York Knicks have been mentioned as possible suitor for Harris, as he is from Long Island and is good friends with Carmelo Anthony (they even work out together in the summer). The Los Angeles Lakers could be an option as well, since he would fit in with their young core and be the leading scorer that they need for life after Kobe Bryant. If teams like the Knicks and Lakers strike out on some of the big-name free agents, Harris could get a serious look.

It is worth mentioning that Kennedy also noted league sources believe Harris wants to remain in Orlando, so this could be a pipe dream for Lakers fans. He is also a restricted free agent, so the Magic could theoretically match any offer from Los Angeles.

Still, the Magic extended Nikola Vucevic and postponed a Harris decision to the future, which means the Lakers could swoop in and make an overwhelming offer like the Dallas Mavericks did with Chandler Parsons this offseason. The only way the Lakers do that, though, is if they truly want Harris as a critical building block.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if they do considering he is only 22 years old and was putting up 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and a steal in 35.5 minutes a game entering Monday’s contest with the Miami Heat.

Kennedy mentioned that the Lakers could use a potential go-to scorer after Kobe Bryant leaves, and Harris is a budding superstar who can do a little bit of everything. He has the chance to develop into someone who posts a double-double every single night, and in a perfect world, he would be just a piece of a complete overhaul for the Lakers. 

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Adding someone like Harris and a game-changing big man like a Marc Gasol around Bryant would make Los Angeles much more competitive in the daunting Western Conference next season.

Rajon Rondo

LM Otero/Associated Press

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports added some context to Los Angeles' attempt to grab Rajon Rondo from the Boston Celtics: “The Lakers’ best trade offer for Rajon Rondo was Steve Nash’s expiring contract, a first-round pick from Houston and two second-round picks, a source said.”

Instead, the Celtics traded Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks for Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright, a first-round pick in the 2015 draft and a second-round pick in the 2016 draft. Incredibly, Boston has eight first-round picks in the next four years.

You can draw the conclusion about which offer was better on your own, but the Celtics got more back in the swap with Dallas. Had the Lakers included a young player like Julius Randle, it may have swung the pendulum in their favor, but it really wasn’t worth it.

Los Angeles isn’t going to compete for anything this season anyway, and Rondo has the chance to be a free agent this offseason. Unless the Lakers got a guarantee from Rondo that he would re-sign, it was not wise to give up too many young assets.

Perhaps the Lakers can shake things up a bit in the offseason and pursue the point guard as a free agent instead of in a trade.

That may make Bryant happy, who had an infamous breakfast with Rondo earlier this season that sparked some rumors surrounding the Lakers' potential pursuit of the point guard.

Bryant discussed the meeting, via Brian Robb of Boston.com: “We just talked about the game, we talked about the league. We talked about good old memories of playing in the series against each other, stuff like that—different strategies and things they tried to do against us and things we tried to do against them.” 

Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Maybe one day they will get to talk strategy as teammates. Los Angeles’ offer simply wasn’t enough to make that happen this season.

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