As free agency approaches, the Los Angeles Lakers will be looking to add established talent to their young roster. The need for that talent is most prevalent at the center position where the Lakers will likely only have Tarik Black back from the previous roster. As reported earlier today, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside could be a real possibility.
Another potential target, however, is Bismack Biyombo. The Toronto Raptors’ center had a phenomenal postseason and has played himself in position to cash in in free agency.
The Raptors have a difficult situation as both Biyombo and DeMar DeRozan are free agents this summer as they will likely opt out of their respective contracts. Additionally, the team does not have Biyombo’s Bird Rights, making it much more difficult to re-sign the big man and hold on to DeRozan.
Toronto will likely need help from those players in order to keep their entire core in place (if that is what they wish to do). Fortunately for them, it appears the center is willing to provide that.
Speaking on 590 The Fan in Canada, Biyombo claimed that he would like to be back in Toronto:
“Honestly I do because like I said before, I love it here and I think we still have some unfinished business […] I’m expecting for myself to be back here.”
Biyombo was then told about the difficult cap situation and how Toronto could struggle to re-sign both him and DeRozan. Asked whether he would be willing to take a “home-town discount,” the big man had the following to say:
“Yeah, things can always be worked out. When the right moment comes, I say that to my people and I say that to Masai [Ujiri], when the right moment comes, we’ll be open to figure out something. At the end of the day, for me, I’m doing this for fun more than money. Money is great […] but at the same time it’s how much fun I’m going to have.”
Bismack may need to take a huge discount in order to make this work. After the great season and phenomenal postseason he just had, Biyombo’s value is sky high with some insiders predicting he will make upwards of $15 million per season.
How much less Biyombo is willing to take to stay on a contending team but one where he will receive slightly more limited minutes due to the presence of Jonas Valanciunas remains to be seen. And there are other factors that could change this scenario as Toronto could move on from DeRozan or trade Valanciunas for cap flexibility.
But as it stands now, the Congolese big man is making it clear he will do almost everything in his power to stay in Toronto.