While the Los Angeles Lakers have their focus dedicated to the 2016 NBA Draft, where they have the No. 2 and No. 32 overall picks, the NBA free agency period is slowly creeping up.
Starting July 1, teams can start meeting with free agents to discuss potential terms of a deal, although they cannot officially be signed until the moratorium period ends on July 8. As we saw last year with DeAndre Jordan, a player can agree on a deal with a team, then change his mind before having to sign it.
After finishing 17-65 this season, it would only make sense for the Lakers to make some major roster changes around their young core. Los Angeles is in a prime position to add talent through the draft, but they certainly hope to change their luck in free agency this year. But despite a sizable roster overhaul likely forthcoming, there are a few impending free agents that could still return to the Lakers next season.
Jordan Clarkson and Tarik Black will be restricted free agents this summer, and they will be the two most likely candidates to return to the team. Another player in the same boat is Marcelo Huertas. The soon-to-be 33-year-old had his moments with the Lakers last season, and many believe that in new head coach Luke Walton’s system that emphasizes ball movement, Huertas can prove to be a solid contributor off the bench.
Would Huertas be open to returning to Los Angeles next season as the backup to D’Angelo Russell? In a recent post on his Instagram account, he sounds to be open to the idea, at the very least (h/t Lakers Nation’s Trevor Lane).
If the Lakers extend a qualifying offer to Huertas, he can hit the market as a restricted free agent, meaning they could match any offer sheet that he might sign with another team.
It will be interesting to see if the Lakers elect to keep Huertas or seek another option at the point guard position.