Coming off a 57-25 regular-season record and a trip to the Western Conference Semifinals, the Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to beef up for a title run after longtime head coach Phil Jackson's retirement.
That has them pursuing a couple big names and looking to address key weaknesses on the roster.
With free agency right around the corner and the offseason set to end on Christmas, you can bet to see players flying round the league leading up to the start of the season.
Here are a few players who have been connected to the Lakers in trade rumors so far.
Dwight Howard is not only one of the biggest names on the trade market, it appears the Lakers may just have a chance of acquiring the big man.
Howard, who has developed into the best center in the league, averaged an astounding 22.9 points, 14.1 rebounds, 2.4 blocks and 1.4 steals while shooting nearly 60 percent last season.
However, because the Clippers haven't gotten an assurance from Howard that he would sign an extension before hitting free agency in 2012, it appears they are out of the running, per Marc Stein and Chris Broussard of ESPN.
That leaves the Nets and the Lakers.
Who do you think Howard would rather play for?
The Lakers could potentially trade center Andrew Bynum in a deal for Howard.
It's becoming more and more likely that Chris Paul will be traded before the season starts.
However, the Lakers appear to be concentrating more on Howard, particularly because there are concerns about Paul's knees down the stretch.
Jason Kapono, G/F, Free Agent
Jason Kapono may seem like an insignificant addition, but he's proven he can be deadly from beyond the arc in his career, shooting over 43 percent from long range.
The Lakers shot 35.2 percent from downtown last season, ranked near the middle of the league.
They could use a player like Kapono, and apparently they are already working on a one to two-year deal, per The Los Angeles Times.
The Lakers also brought Kapono in for a workout on Monday, per Gil Alcaraz IV of Yahoo! Sports.
J.J. Barea, PG, Free Agent
"It's not looking good here in Dallas, I don't think. I'm disappointed. I wasn't expecting this. Hopefully, it gets better.
"It's disappointing they're not going to do what needs to be done to bring back the team. I want to come back. I think the fans want me to come back. But, I don't know."
Lakers fans know Barea all to well. He's the guy who lit them up in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals last season, inciting center Andrew Bynum to check him late and get thrown out of the game. In that game, he scored 22 points, going 9-for-14, and added eight assists in 27 minutes.
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