Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Moe Harkless and Tyler Zeller

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2016

Portland Trail Blazers' Maurice Harkless during a timeout in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors Sunday, April 3, 2016, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers have certainly been busy this offseason. The team re-signed Jordan Clarkson to a four-year, $50-million deal, reportedly inked Luol Deng to a four-year, $72 million deal, per Shams Charania of The Vertical, and Timofey Mozgov to a four-year, $64 million deal, according to The Vertical.

But the Lakers may not be done yet. While the team's major moves are likely done, barring a surprise, there are still solid players on the market capable of filling out the roster.

Let's break down two of the latest rumors making the rounds.

Moe Harkless

Ben Margot/Associated Press

According to Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com, the Lakers are among a number of teams interested in acquiring small forward Moe Harkless this summer. Mike Bresnahan of TWC SportsNet added that the Lakers are "in the mix" for him.

The 23-year-old averaged just 6.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game last season, albeit in 18.7 minutes per game. He started 14 games for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Harkless is a restricted free agent, so the Blazers can match any offer. And there is a very good chance he won't be going anywhere, as Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported:

Steve Kyler @stevekylerNBA

Problem for the more than half-dozen teams at the table for Moe Harkless - belief that Blazers will match anything thats not crazy.

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Steve Kyler @stevekylerNBA

Another problem for those pursuing Harkless - he is very close with Damian Lillard and he wants Harkless back.

And it's unclear just what role he would play for the Lakers. The team also drafted Brandon Ingram No. 2 overall in this year's NBA draft, so they have players capable of playing big minutes on the wing.

Still, Harkless could potentially give the team solid depth at forward and support a young core that includes Ingram, Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle. His signing wouldn't be the sort of splashy move that many Lakers fans were hoping for, but he'd help round out the team's rotation nicely.

Tyler Zeller

ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 19:  Tyler Zeller #44 of the Boston Celtics shoots against Mike Muscala #31 of the Atlanta Hawks in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 19, 2016 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

While Mozgov certainly filled a need in the post, the Lakers may not be done addressing the center position, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com reported the team is interested in signing Tyler Zeller.

After averaging 10.2 points and 5.7 rebounds with the Boston Celtics in 2014-15, Zeller had a bit of a down year last season, going for just 6.1 points and 3.0 rebounds in 11.8 minutes per game. He also started just three games for the team after earning the starting nod 59 times the season prior. 

In Los Angeles, he would likely compete for minutes with Mozgov and would have the chance to earn the starting gig. Certainly, he would push Mozgov for time, especially if the former Cleveland Cavaliers center doesn't fit in well with Luke Walton's philosophy and the Lakers core of athletic young players.

Zeller won't make anyone forget the Lakers' inability to nab a superstar like Kevin Durant or the top centers in free agency like Hassan Whiteside or Bismack Biyombo. But he would give the team a nice contingency plan in the event that Mozgov doesn't pan out.

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