Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Jim Buss is ready to move to actually contending for a playoff spot rather than rebuild with young players, according to a recent interview. This will put the Lakers in a situation this offseason where they will be involved in a lot of NBA rumors of the Hollywood franchise targeting the likes of DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Al Horford and DeMar DeRozan either in free agency or via trades.
“Right now, I think our young guys are the perfect number and we will add solid veterans,” Buss said via Basketball Insiders.
The Lakers co-owner also mentioned that there are a number of players in the Lakers roster that will be part of the team long-term as part of the team’s core but could still be part of NBA rumors as they try to explore the trade market.
“There’s five to me – solid, core players we can work with and build on. “I like Marcelo [Huertas], I think in the right system he might be a good fit. And Tarik Black, I like him. He could be a rotational player.”
Aside from Huertas and Black, other players expected to be in L.A. are Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, who is a free agent but expected to stay with the Lakers this offseason.
The Lakers are in a very good position this summer with a few big trades assets, including a projected No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. The L.A. squad also have a big salary cap space with the expiring contracts of Kobe Bryant and Roy Hibbert.
According to projections the Lakers might have about $50 million to $60 million in cap space, which is enough to chase two top free agents on a maximum salary.
This is where the NBA rumors of the Lakers signing the likes of Kevin Durant, DeMar DeRozan and Al Horford, among others will come in. Most free agents like the idea of getting to a winning team and the Lakers can sell their developing young guys and pairing them with other veterans as their way of getting back into playoff contention.