Lakers News: Latest Buzz on Andre Iguodala, Alex Caruso and Marc Gasol
The Los Angeles Lakers have remained busy this offseason, signing veterans and loading up for another run at their 18th Larry O'Brien trophy. But in the process, they had to let one contributor to their last title walk and potentially alienated another big-name player.
That's all while still courting a three-time champion looking to finish out his career with another title on his resume.
Lakers Among Three Teams Vying for Andre Iguodala
The 37-year-old guard isn't going to light up any stat sheets at this point in his career, but what he does bring to the table is experience and championship mentality. He has competed in the most important games and won the 2015 NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award
Iguodala has history with the Warriors, where he won his three titles and has a strong bond with star Steph Curry. He could easily go there, try to rekindle the magic that led to a dynasty and end his career with the team.
In Los Angeles, Iguodala would likely have fewer opportunities with the signings of Carmelo Anthony, Kendrick Nunn, Malik Monk, Kent Bazemore and Trevor Ariza. Still, the allure of a championship for a player with only a year or two years left in his professional career has to be strong, and the Lakers possess the strongest likelihood of achieving one this coming season.
At this point in his career, it is nearly impossible to imagine he isn't still competing in search of another title. With that in mind, the idea of signing with Los Angeles may be the most appealing, even if he has stronger friendships up I-5.
Lakers Considered Dumping Marc Gasol in Trade to Minnesota
ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported on The Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe (h/t Silver Screen & Roll) that the Lakers recently considered trading Marc Gasol to the Minnesota Timberwolves in an attempt to dump salary.
"But I heard the Timberwolves were in on this. It would have been a sign-and-trade, and they actually would have taken back Marc Gasol. Like that could have been salary cap relief for the Lakers, not just a trade exception," she said.
This comes after Gasol recently committed to returning to L.A. and seeing through the remainder of his deal rather than retiring in the offseason.
Gasol has had a tumultuous run with the Lakers, who signed him to be part of their title efforts but benched him in favor of Andre Drummond.
"I think there's an 'if'—'if' they need you. And it's a big 'if.' You're not Plan A right now. You're Plan C, D. ... You have to accept it because that's your job. And that's what you sign up to do. It's never easy to accept that," he told reporters in April.
Already frustrated following his treatment last season, it is reasonable to believe he might be less than enthused about reports that the Lakers considered dumping him to free up space.
Further frustration or displeasure with his role on the team, a team that has undergone a heavy roster turnover thanks to free agency, could see Gasol finish up his NBA career elsewhere before the upcoming season concludes.
LA Declined Anthony Caruso's Offer to Return to the Team for Less Money
Speaking of less-than-enthused...
Alex Caruso's time in Los Angeles came to an end when he agreed to a deal with the Chicago Bulls Wednesday.
Shelburne reported on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast that Caruso went to the Lakers with an offer for three years, $30 million. The organization declined it, saying they could go as far as $7 million a year but couldn't go beyond that.
Why? The luxury tax liability, which is already as high as $51 million.
"Not only would they have had to pay Caruso’s salary ($7,590,081 higher than a minimum salary next season if his deal were fully backloaded), their luxury-tax liability would have increased by nearly $31 million," wrote Dan Feldman of NBC Sports.
Though Caruso almost certainly would have paid off on the court, the Lakers were unwilling to concede that sort of money to the luxury tax when it could sign other veteran players to minimum deals and still make a run at a title with the core of Lebron James and Anthony Davis leading the way.
So, Caruso heads to Chicago, who also acquired Lonzo Ball and Demar DeRozan this off season to bolster its attempts to make a splash in the Eastern Conference.