For now, Kevin Durant isn’t planning to meet with the Lakers. It’s unlikely for Durant to even consider the Lakers as a viable option in free agency, even with D’Angelo Russell casually dropping 39 points in a Pro-Am game. Russell is a part of a core that has even Kobe Bryant excited, and the Lakers are looking to add a BIG piece to their young group, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 25, 2016
Hassan Whiteside had been something of a journeyman in his young NBA career, before latching on with the Miami Heat. Whiteside, otherwise known as ‘Agent Block’, is sure to have many suitors in free agency, with the Lakers being one of them.
Whiteside has a brief history with the Lakers, having worked out for Los Angeles before the 2014-2015 season. Ultimately, the team decided not to offer Whiteside a contract, moving forward in a different direction.
Hassan Whiteside: “I worked out for the Lakers. I thought they could use me. I guess not.”
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) March 5, 2015
Well, Hassan, the Lakers could use you now. Actually, the Lakers have been in desperate need of a rim protector since the day Dwight Howard packed his bags and hopped on a plane to Houston.
Whiteside led the NBA in blocks this year, averaging 3.68 blocks per game, a full 1.38 more than DeAndre Jordan, the next leading shot blocker. Whiteside can run the floor and also be quite effective in pick and rolls with Russell.
The Lakers are looking to add to their impressive group of young talent, and signing Whiteside could help speed up the rebuilding process tremendously. The self-claimed ‘businessman’ will command a max contract, something the Lakers can easily give to him.
Free agency opens July 1st, and with it opens the floodgates of opt-outs and max deals. The Lakers have the right coach, a foundation on which they can build upon, and massive cap space. It’s about to get interesting.
All statistics courtesy of NBA.com.