Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Jamal Crawford, Anthony Davis and More

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2018

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 25: Jamal Crawford #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves handles the ball against the Houston Rockets in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 25, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Bill Baptist/Getty Images

While the NBA world buzzes back to life with media days, training camps and even preseason contests this week, it continues delivering the off-court buzz that makes it an around-the-clock follow, too.

The Los Angeles Lakers aren't in the heart of the biggest story—they're among the seemingly few clubs not yet connected to Jimmy Butler—but they're still making some roster noise of their own.

We'll detail the latest below.

                

Interest, But No Offer for Jamal Crawford?

SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 25: Jamal Crawford #11 of the Minnesota Timberwolves talks to the media during a press conference after winning the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award at the NBA Awards Show on June 25, 2018 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Moni
NBA Photos/Getty Images

While every basketball free agent is technically a hooper-for-hire, few players fit that description better than Jamal Crawford.

The three-time Sixth Man of the Year has already donned seven different jerseys over his decorated 18-year career. It's quite possible he'll be rocking an eighth soon, as he's coming off a year in which he provided the Minnesota Timberwolves with 17.9 points and 4.0 assists per 36 minutes.

Will the Lakers be that team? They might be throwing around the idea, at least.

"The Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers have all shown interest, a source said, but none has offered a contract," Marc J. Spears wrote for The Undefeated.

While Crawford's game fits virtually any situation, he wouldn't appear to address a major need in L.A.

The Lakers go at least two-deep around the perimeter, and they're already overloaded with playmakers—especially if they hope to probe deeper into Brandon Ingram's off-the-bounce skills. Their second unit also has a healthy number of offense-first flamethrowers like Kyle Kuzma, Michael Beasley and perhaps rookie Mo Wagner.

Unless the organization covets Crawford's locker-room leadership, it might be better off letting him sign with a club that's closer to championship contention.

                

Pelicans Not Worried About Anthony Davis Joining Klutch?

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: LeBron James #23  of Team LeBron chest bumps Anthony Davis #23 after winning against Team Curry during the NBA All-Star Game as a part of 2018 NBA All-Star Weekend at STAPLES Center on February 18, 2018 in Los Angeles, Calif
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

If you're an avid reader of tea leaves, you may have had a field day with Sunday's news of Anthony Davis joining Klutch Sports Group.

Yes, that is LeBron's agency. And, yes, the King has already publicly welcomed the Brow to the "family":

So, clearly, James and Davis will form the Association's next superpower, right? The Ringer's Bill Simmons thinks so:

The New Orleans Pelicans, though, don't share the sentiment.

"The Pelicans, per a variety of sources, don't seem particularly concerned about Davis exchanging agents," Scott Kushner wrote for The Advocate.

Changing agents, of course, doesn't have to mean more than a player is just picking the company they feel best represents them. Davis has never indicated he's interested in going elsewhere and his new agent, Rich Paul, told ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst they aren't looking to change teams and plan on meeting with Pelicans officials soon.

That being said, Davis can enter free agency in 2020. A lot can happen between now and then. Maybe the Lakers add another star or—even better—developed a couple by then. If Davis is the slightest bit interested in them, he could find out everything he needs to know from Paul.

At the least, this is an interesting development for all parties involved.

                    

Lakers Are Kawhi Leonard's Third Choice?

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 26:  Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs drives to the basket as he gets past Brandon Ingram #14 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half of the game at Staples Center on February 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. S
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Kawhi Leonard hasn't even opened camp with the Toronto Raptors, and we're already examining where he might go next. That's just life in the NBA, folks.

There's been plenty written and said about Leonard's mindset, preferences and possible desired landing spots both during and after his awkward exit from the San Antonio Spurs. Those conversations are ongoing and include the opinion of one of the league's most well-connected reporters.

ESPN's Ramona Shelburne provided her view of the situation during a recent appearance on ESPN LA 710's "Mason and Ireland" show (h/t Sporting News' Jordan Greer):

"I've had several people say the whole Laker mystique doesn't hold any appeal for Kawhi. That's not why he wanted to be with the Lakers. He wanted to be with the Lakers because he thought they were closer to winning. Then they went out and got LeBron [James] and several people—I will say, who know Kawhi, talk to Kawhi—said, 'He's not going to like that. He's not going to want to play in his shadow.' But the people who I actually trust in terms of they matter in his decision making, they said, 'No, he still wants to be with the Lakers because they're closer to winning.' 

"Now, I don't know where he is now that he's in Toronto, because they haven’t started playing, he hasn't gone through a winter, he's just getting started. He hasn't even done a press conference... I would say Clippers one. I would say Toronto two and Lakers three."

Unless several of the young Lakers make astronomical leaps this season, they'll likely need to lure in at least one external superstar to have a shot at adding to James' championship collection.

Leonard, an L.A. native, isn't the only intriguing option among 2019 free agents, but he belongs at or near the top of the wish list. Assuming his injury troubles are behind him, he's a transcendent talent at both ends. He has two Defensive Player of the Year awards under his belt and averaged 25.5 points on 48.5/38.0/88.0 shooting during his last healthy season.

                  

Statistics used courtesy of NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com.

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