Lakers Free-Agency News: Lance Stephenson, Kyle Lowry Offseason Targets For Purple-and-Gold
By Lou Ramon Aguila | May 12, 2014 4:09 PM EST
The Los Angeles Lakers' search for help this offseason could have the franchise looking for up-and-coming talents such as Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry and Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson, NBA arena reported on Monday.
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs
After dealing with perhaps the worst season in the team's championship-laden history, the Lakers are now on a rebuilding mode, with only Steve Nash, Robert Sacre and Kobe Bryant guaranteed to return for next year's campaign.
The purple-and-gold is also bracing for the possible departure of All-Star power forward Pau Gasol, who could be making his return in Memphis to play alongside his All-Star brother bigman Marc Gasol, according to multiple sources.
The Grizzlies, which could only make a run for the Spanish big man if Zach Randolph decides to bolt out from the final year of his deal this season, is just one of several teams intrigued in signing Gasol. The Chicago Bulls, the Charlotte Bobcats and perhaps the Los Angeles Clippers are other possible destinations for him this summer.
"But a person with knowledge of the Grizzlies thinking said Randolph will be the focus of their free agency affection and that the interest they have in Pau Gasol would be secondary," according to USA Today NBA insider Sam Amick.
Lakers Going Fast and Furious?
NBA Arena reported the Lakers could make a run for Stephenson, who has been on a tear this postseason. The 23-year old do-it-all guard is averaging 14.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 35 minutes per game this playoffs.
His consistency on the court has certainly put him under the radar of several big-spending franchises, which are looking for young players capable of taking his game to another level and become a full-fledged superstar in the league. Apparently, the Lakers are one of these teams.
"The Lakers reportedly like Stephenson because they can sign him to a slightly smaller contract and still get plenty of production out of him. He would be a cap friendly acquisition and young enough to develop for the future when Bryant eventually calls it a career," NBA Arena reported.
"The Lakers could plan on moving Bryant to the three position in order to allow Stephenson to be a starter, something he is aiming for."
Another potential target for the Lakers is Lowry, who has been the subject of trade rumours since his arrival from north of the border. Despite the Raptors' early playoff exit, Lowry made a statement during the seven-game series with the Brooklyn Nets, as he averaged 21.1 points and 4.7 assists per game.
One of the areas of concern for the Lakers heading into the offseason is the point guard position, as Steve Nash's deteriorating game demand for a solid backup and eventually a successor for the two-time MVP.
"Bleacher Report is reporting that Lowry is a target, but an unrealistic one. The Lakers are looking to create their backup plan as the health of Steve Nash has left his future in question," via Real GM.
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