The LA Lakers are heading into the offseason with Rajon Rondo, Goran Dragic, Kevin Love, Greg Monroe, Brook Lopez and Marc Gasol potential free agent targets and the team may also look at a trade for Brandon Jennings or Jose Calderon, as trading for Russell Westbrook is never going to happen and this comes as Kobe Bryant is hoping to return healthy next season.
The Lakers are down near the bottom of the league for the second straight season and they are in line for a lottery pick. The Knicks are looking like they will be the worst team in the NBA and that could give them the number one overall pick. This year there are some very strong prospects coming out and that makes the first four picks very valuable, but it's the top two that will be the most important.
The draft lottery doesn't guarantee that worst team will get the top pick and the Knicks will be hoping that this time it works out. The team has options at number two and number three, but they would love to have that top pick after this tough season. The Lakers are in the mix as well and they could end up with a talented player in the top four or five. Jahlil Okafor and Karl Anthony Towns are expected to be the top two players and the Lakers would love to get their hands on one of them.
Free agency is going to be very important for the Lakers as well, as they are set to have over $30 million in space to work with. The team would love to get Rajon rondo or Goran Dragic, but the Knicks and Heat also will be in the mix. The Celtics are going to chase top free agents as well and the Lakers are hoping Los Angeles can be a main draw. The team could consider trades for Brandon Jennings or Jose Calderon if they lose out on Dragic or Rondo, while Greg Monroe is also expected to be a main target for LA.
This year Okafor and Towns will be the top names, but D'Angelo Russell and Emmanuel Mudiay along with Willie Cauley-Stein could be options. Sam Dekker from Wisconsin and the Harrison brothers from Kentucky are also coming out, but they will not be lottery picks most likely. Last year the team picked Julius Randle and he missed the season while dealing with an injury.
Last year the decision was between Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker and the Cavaliers went with Wiggins, although they ended up trading him over the summer. The split this year is about Towns and Okafor and that could make for some interesting pre-draft workouts depending on who gets the top two picks. The Sixers, Timberwolves and Lakers all have bad records, but the Knicks are the team that will get the most balls in the lottery.
The Lakers have Kobe Bryant coming back healthy and they will have Jeremy Lin hitting free agency, opening things up for a new point guard. The Lakers are hoping for one more strong run with Bryant healthy.