Aaron Gash/Associated Press
The Los Angeles Lakers are keeping an eye on two centers who are set to hit the open market when free agency begins next week.
“The Lakers, I think, are sniffing around (Lopez),” he said. “I think the Lakers need perimeter players. I think they’re going to have to use their money on perimeter players. I know DeAndre Jordan is a guy on the Lakers’ radar that they’re hoping they may [be] able to get for relatively cheap because he wants to be back in L.A.”
The Lakers’ potential interest in Lopez could offer some insight into how they want to build around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Per ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers have been exploring ways to create $32 million in cap space in the wake of their pending acquisition of Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans. They currently project to have $23.7 million available when the deal becomes official, assuming Davis accepts his $4.1 million trade bonus.
When the trade is finalized, Los Angeles’ roster will include Davis, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga and Jemerrio Jones. Talen Horton-Tucker was drafted No. 46 overall by the Orlando Magic, but his rights were traded to the Lakers.
If the Lakers want perimeter players, Lopez would be a much better fit after shooting a career high 36.5 percent from three-point range last season with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Lopez told Marc Stein of the New York Times that Los Angeles’ decision to move on from him last summer was “tough on me.”
Jordan’s market will depend on how teams view a traditional back-to-the-basket center who can’t shoot outside of the paint. The 30-year-old averaged a double-double with 11.0 points and 13.1 rebounds in 69 games between the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks last season.