Lakers News and Rumours: Eric Bledsoe, Dante Exum Backcourt; Kobe Bryant to Play Small Forward for Rest of his Career
By Lou Ramon Aguila | February 3, 2014 11:19 AM EST
The Los Angeles Lakers is reportedly interested to sign incoming free-agent guard Eric Bledsoe and draft Australian teen Dante Exum this summer, a source close to the situation reported this weekend.
The Lakers' rebuilding plan is unfolding detail by detail as multiple reports indicated the franchise's interest in signing the 24-year- old Bledsoe when he becomes a restricted free agent this offseason.
According to ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard, the Lakers front office led by general manager Mitch Kupchak is very much intrigued on the possibility of acquiring the speedy and athletic guard out of Kentucky.
"Speaking of the Suns, I was told the Los Angeles Lakers might go hard after Suns point guard Eric Bledsoe, who is out the rest of the season with a knee injury. Bledsoe will be a restricted free agent next summer, but I'm told the Lakers might be willing to overpay him to pry him away from Phoenix," stated Broussard.
Bledsoe, the centerpiece of the three-team trade by the Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns last offseason, was putting up All-Star worthy numbers (18.0 points , 5.8 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game) before he went down with a torn MCL injury.
Sources reported the Lakers could use a "poison pill" contract on Bledsoe in an attempt to scare away the Suns from matching a deal that would force them to commit heavy loads of money in the final year.
"With the Suns able to match any offer given to their star player, Phoenix will likely be able to retain Bledsoe, but the Lakers might be willing to go all out in order to bring in the dynamic combo guard formerly of the Los Angeles Clippers," according to Lakers Nation.
Another rumour hovering around for quite some time is the selection of Australian point guard Dante Exum as the first round pick of the Lakers this coming NBA Draft.
The 6-foot-6 Exum has already committed to enter his name in the draft, and many scouts expected the Aussie boy to be selected in the top 5.
If the Lakers continue its free-fall and eventually land a top 5 pick, the Lakers will reportedly use it to get Exum, whom many scouts view as franchise-changing playmaker.
"Breaking: Dante Exum will enter 2014 NBA Draft & hire agent Rob Pelinka. Exum No. 4 on Top 100, No. 1 ranked PG," Lakers Nation.
Bledsoe-Exum Backcourt, Kobe Moving to Small Forward
Head coach Mike D'Antoni loves to play small ball. He has shown this throughout his career, particularly during his tenure with the Suns. Having both Bledsoe and Exum in the backcourt would give D'Antoni the option to use their speed and youthful exuberance to capitalise on the NBA's ageing backcourt tandems.
Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant might play the small forward position towards the end of his career. At 6-foot-7, Bryant can play the role effectively whether as a scorer or a defensive-stopper on the other end.
For more Lakers Trade rumours, read more at IBT Sports.
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