Lakers News: Latest on Kyle Lowry Rumors, Montrezl Harrell and More

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2021

Lakers News: Latest on Kyle Lowry Rumors, Montrezl Harrell and More

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    As is an annual tradition, onlookers overseeing the NBA offseason can expect almost any major big name to wind up linked to the Los Angeles Lakers

    This feels especially the case this summer after LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Co. came up short in a title pursuit, largely due to injury and other smaller factors. 

    A team on the hunt for massive upgrades and with only a handful of players on guaranteed contracts for next season, the Lakers will exhaust every avenue in an effort to move the needle further while the contention window remains open. 

    Here's a look at the latest rumors surrounding the Lakers, including potential trades and more.

The Montrezl Harrell Decision

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Montrezl Harrell appears to have some interesting leverage over the Lakers right now. 

    Signed to a two-year deal worth $18,978,900 million during the 2020 offseason, Harrell choosing to opt-in could mean the Lakers can use him in any trade talks. 

    But that requires an opt-in, which doesn't seem like a guarantee, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype: "Montrezl Harrell’s decision on his $9.7 million player option is considered a genuine '50-50' either way at this stage, multiple league sources told HoopsHype."

    The 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year, Harrell actually faded from the lineup down the stretch last season despite the Lakers desperately needing some quality help due to injuries. He averaged just 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game while shooting 62.2 percent from the floor, the first two numbers dramatically down from his strong 2019-20 performance with the Los Angeles Clippers

    Still, Harrell is going to have a strong market if he heads to free agency. And he's a quality trade chip if he opts-in, both because of the hope he can return to prior form and his status as a one-year contract. 

Kyle Lowry's Market

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Kyle Lowry is one of the biggest names available this offseason so naturally, the Lakers have popped up in the discussion. 

    According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Lakers are one of several teams expected to be in the running for his services, joining the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Pelicans and Miami Heat

    No wonder, as the six-time All-Star and NBA champion is arguably the biggest name out there. Injuries limited him to 46 games last year, yet he still averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds while shooting 43.6 percent from the floor (highest since 2016-17) and 39.6 percent from range (highest since 2017-18). 

    Granted, whether the Lakers can compete with some of these other teams for Lowry's interest is hard to say. The biggest thing the front office can offer, outside of Harrell, is Kyle Kuzma, who managed just 12.8 points per game over the last two seasons and has a $13 million cap hit next season. 

    Wilder things have happened and running the point for LeBron and Davis might be pretty enticing for Lowry, of course. But many of the rumblings around the team make quite a bit more sense when thinking about a name like Lowry as the team's actual endgame this offseason. 

DeMar DeRozan Talks Joining Lakers

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    Elsewhere on the "joining the Lakers" front, other star players aren't shy about commenting on the idea in public. 

    Take DeMar DeRozan, who just had an interview with Shannon Sharpe on Club Shay Shay and said the following: “You’d love to have the opportunity to play at home, especially if they want you, why not? I think it would work [between me, LeBron & AD]. We’re smart basketball players and it’s all about coming together.”

    DeRozan is a California native, so the playing-at-home angle alongside the simple idea of teaming up with LeBron and Davis certainly makes sense. 

    And it's safe to presume the Lakers have an interest in the idea too. The Undefeated's Marc J. Spears on an episode of The Jump reported the Lakers are one of several teams interested in DeRozan's services this offseason. 

    The free-agent guard averaged 21.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 6.2 assists as a stellar secondary option with the San Antonio Spurs over the last three seasons. Throwing that into the mix, at least on paper, with LeBron and Davis would produce big results. 

    This is one of many angles the Lakers could pursue this offseason, provided they can offload weights like Kuzma in the process. But it sure doesn't hurt that DeRozan isn't shying away from the topic before he hits the free-agent market.