The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of cap space entering the 2016 NBA Free Agency and one of the players they are going to pursue is center Hassan Whiteside. However, the latest NBA rumors suggest that the Lakers will focus on acquiring Brook Lopez from the Brooklyn Nets if they can’t sign Whiteside.
Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN first reported on Saturday that the Lakers will “aggressively pursue” Whiteside when free agency starts on July 1. Besides the Lakers, the Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks are also linked with the 27-year-old center.
In an interview with The Sun-Sentinel, Whiteside pointed out several factors that will affect his decision including money and his fit on the team. He even compared his decision to the way a man looks at his wife.
“It’s like you having a wife: You can’t say one specific thing you like about her; you’ve just got to like her as whole. It’s kind of like I’ve got to choose it all together, so all the dots got to connect,” Whiteside said.
The advantage that Heat have is Miami don’t have state income tax but the team may not offer Whiteside a full contract. The Lakers will have a big chance in signing him, especially if gets offended by the offer he gets from the Heat.
However, Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers will need to have a fallback option just in case Whiteside decides to stay in Miami or play with a different team. Arthur Hill of Hoops Rumors noted that Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets is that option.
Hill mentioned that Lopez is only 28 years old and he was healthy last season. The Nets are in rebuild mode and they might be eager to trade the center after they sent Thaddeus Young to the Indiana Pacers last week.
Some of the possible players the Lakers can offer the Nets are Larry Nance Jr. and Nick Young, per Hoops Rumors. Los Angeles will likely need to add a first round considering Brooklyn’s dilemma in that department for the next several years.
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