There has been a feeling lately that the Los Angeles Lakers may pursue third star such as Bradley Beal or Kyrie Irving this summer, but it seem that they are unlikely to do so.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted on “Get Up” the unlikelihood of that scenario because of the restrictions of the salary cap, which are about to become even tighter.
“There’s no big game hunting out there for this Laker organization,” said Wojnarowski at 1:06. “In this league right now, with a new collective bargaining agreement, you can’t really have three max superstars and expect to have any depth on your roster. It’s going to look a lot the same.”
Irving, who is currently with the Dallas Mavericks after being traded there at midseason, has been linked to the Lakers a lot over the past 12 months. Los Angeles tried going after him last summer and then again in early February of this year.
Irving is good friends with LeBron James, and the two played three seasons together on the Cleveland Cavaliers, reaching the NBA Finals each of those years and winning it all in 2016.
Beal, meanwhile, could be hitting the trade market this offseason after spending multiple fruitless seasons with the Washington Wizards.
The Lakers will have several of their important players becoming free agents, including D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Austin Reaves and Dennis Schroder. Keeping Reaves and Hachimura seems to be a very high priority for them, as Wojnarowski pointed out, but it is unclear what will happen with Russell.
A report recently surfaced that they may try to re-sign Russell while also obtaining future Hall of Famer Chris Paul on a veteran’s minimum contract should the latter be waived or stretched by the Phoenix Suns. Paul is another close friend of James, and the two have dreamed of playing together on the same team for many years.
In addition to bolstering their backcourt and getting James some help in terms of ball-handling and scoring, the Lakers also need greater wing and center depth. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, they could end up packaging the No. 17 pick in Thursday’s draft in order to obtain a player who can get into their starting lineup.