Lakers Rumors: Aaron Gordon Linked as Potential Free-Agency Target

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2018

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 8:  Aaron Gordon #00 of the Orlando Magic dribbles the ball during the first half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on April 8, 2018 in Toronto, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are apparently getting their contingency plans in place, should they strike out with their preferred free-agent targets this offseason.

The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears reported Sunday the Lakers could try to make a run at Aaron Gordon.

Landing Gordon will be difficult, since the Orlando Magic can match any offer sheet the restricted free agent signs.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Paul George agreed to a four-year, $137 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder, while the Lakers haven't appeared to make any headway on a deal with LeBron James.

At the very least, James is still weighing multiple offers. Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon reported he spoke with Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman, and Wojnarowski reported his representatives met with officials from the Philadelphia 76ers.

Pursuing Gordon would be a solid backup strategy for Los Angeles. He's coming off a career year in 2017-18, averaging 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds and shooting 33.6 percent from three-point range.

Gordon will turn just 23 in September as well, so he'd fit on a roster built around Brandon Ingram (20), Lonzo Ball (20) and Kyle Kuzma (22).

The fact Gordon is a restricted free agent complicates matters. He's the closest thing to a true franchise player in Orlando, so the Magic have a strong incentive to retain him. Even if the Lakers put a max-contract offer on the table, there's little reason to think Orlando won't simply match it.

But there's no harm from the Lakers' perspective in making the approach, especially if their other options fall by the wayside.