NBA 2020: Free Agency, Trades, Derrick Rose, Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers
LAKERS ‘MORE LIKELY’ TO SNARE STAR TO COMPLETE BIG THREE
The Los Angeles Lakers may have only recently won their 17th NBA title but the offseason comes around fast and a huge move could already be on the cards.
The Lakers stopped short of a Derrick Rose trade with the Detroit Pistons at the deadline in February as they believed it would be a strong buyout market and opted against forcing the move.
Now he may reunite with former teammate LeBron James, who briefly played alongside Rose in Cleveland.
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Both the Lakers and Pistons are in different positions with the latter working towards a rebuild phase built off young players.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles are looking for backcourt options with Rajon Rondo and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope reportedly opting out of their contracts and hitting free agency.
They of course can look to bring both back or alternatively can seek an upgrade in Rose.
“I think both sides were reluctant when they went into in January, February,” one general manager told Heavy.com.
“I don’t think the Lakers wanted to make a major move because they thought they could do something on the buyout market. And I don’t think the Pistons wanted to make a major move because Derrick was happy there.
“You know, the Lakers wanted to be involved in case the Clippers got involved or someone else, the Bucks or the Nuggets, whoever. So there was interest but not too serious.
“Now, everything has shifted a little. Now, they’re both in a position to where a deal is much more likely now.”
Rose could be a strong option running the offence when James takes a spell, averaging 18.1 points and 5.6 assists for Detroit last season.
LEONARD CLAMOURING FOR BIG OFF-SEASON MOVE
The Los Angeles Clippers were one of last season’s biggest disappointments and it seems that a star player has an idea on how to try turn it around.
Kawhi Leonard [who signed on a three-year, $103 million ($A145m) deal] has reportedly been pushing for the Clippers to add a point guard this season to help out in the offence.
“They clearly need a point guard,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on First Take.
“Everybody knows it and Kawhi Leonard privately has clamoured for one. It’s not that he wants them to get rid of Patrick Beverley, but Patrick Beverley is basically a defensive ace who’s small and has to play opposing guards.
“They need a point guard who can run a team and can shoot.”
Complicating matters is the fact that the Clippers sacrificed several first-round picks to go after Paul George.
There are many alternatives available if they are looking to upgrade at point guard in free agency.
One of the better trade picks would be Thunder guard Chris Paul, who has previously shown his ability to be a strong option alongside a dominant offensive player like Houston’s James Harden.
However, reports suggest that if 35-year old Paul is moved on he will likely end up at the New York Knicks.