The Los Angeles Lakers are considering Toronto Raptors’ reserve Bismack Biyombo as their starting center for the next season. Biyombo is drawing interest from several teams and his rising market value could be a concern for the Lakers.
The Lakers have a budget around $60 million for free agency signings this offseason but have a number of roster spots to fill up. Only six players on the current roster- Lou Williams, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Larry Nance Jr., Anthony Brown, and Nick Young have a guaranteed deal for the next season.
The franchise is not willing to bring back Roy Hibbert and Tarik Black, who are expected to become restricted free agents. So, Bismack Biyombo becomes an automatic choice for the Lakers in the upcoming playoffs. Biyombo’s stellar show in the playoffs has raised his demand considerably.
According to a report by Sean Deveney of Sporting News, Biyombo’s price tag could rise up to $16-17 million per year. And any team eager to sign him needs to bring in multiple changes.
“But you factor in the cap spike and it’s probably going to be high, I’d say, $16-17 million. It’ll be a heck of a $17 million-per-year gamble.” […] And another Eastern Conference executive said Biyombo’s price tag could wind up being even a bit higher. “With the way the free agency could wind up going, three years and $60 (million) would be my guess,” he said.
Is Biyombo exactly the right guy the Lakers are looking for? The 23-year-old Raptor has posted averages of 12.1 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in the games Jonas Valanciunas has missed due to injury. Experts feel he is ready for the starting role, and the Lakers will expect him to grow alongside their young core as a defensive big-man.
But for the Lakers, a three-year, $60 million gamble on Biyombo would consume almost one-third of their cap space. The team still has to resign restricted free agents like Jordan Clarkson and fill up other roster spots. So, a lot of calculations need to be done by Mitch Kupchak and company before taking a final shot at the Raptor.
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