Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Potential Free-Agent Signings and More
For the most part, the Los Angeles Lakers have avoided making major headlines throughout the 2014 offseason. It's true they've brought on big men such as Carlos Boozer and Julius Randle, and they've also hired Byron Scott as their head coach, but 2015 is when a monumental shift could occur, making anything that happens this summer small talk compared to what could happen next offseason.
All that said, L.A. isn't done making moves just yet. A quiet summer doesn't mean an uneventful one, and the Lakers are still involved in rumors with July nearly behind us.
Nobody expects the Lakers to shift the power balance of the league at this point in the offseason, but there are a handful of potential moves that could excite fans in Tinseltown. None of these moves will make the Lakers instant contenders, but any improvement from here on out can be considered a win, as improving upon 2013-14 is the ultimate goal for those who care about winning in Laker Land.
Lakers Working out Michael Beasley?
According to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com, the Los Angeles Lakers have worked out Michael Beasley, who averaged 7.9 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last season.
As a source from McMenamin's report states, "[Beasley] looked very good and he has been working out. A tiny rust from layoff, but [he] did a good job."
If the Lakers ultimately bring in the 25-year-old, they'll be adding depth to a position that needs it: small forward. Nick Young is a capable scorer but more of a natural 2. And with Wesley Johnson as the only true 3 off the pine, Beasley's versatility would be welcomed on the perimeter.
Although we haven't heard of any specific concerns coming from Lakers management, the team is likely debating the same topics we've heard for years. The former Kansas State Wildcat showed good conditioning and improved maturity at the end of 2013-14, but he's yet to prove he can go a whole season proving people wrong, making him a bit of a gamble for L.A.
Steve Nash's Last Season?
Steve Nash has played 18 seasons in the NBA. He's an eight-time All-Star and a two-time MVP, and according to the man himself, 2014-15 could be the final time we see him play for a professional organization.
“I think this is my last season,” Nash said in a You Tube video from Sport TV. "But I still love to play, practice and work on my game. I’m going to spend hopefully many, many years living this life without basketball. It’ll be nice to play one more year.”
Assuming Nash doesn't have a change of heart, he won't exactly be going out on top. Since joining the Los Angeles Lakers, injuries have been the major storyline as he's played just 65 games the past two years.
All that said, you can't take away from what he's accomplished throughout his career. He's a future Hall of Famer who's blended skill and creativity the past 18 years, and while his role has changed entering his final season, his spot in history shouldn't be diminished.
Start Julius Randle over Carlos Boozer?
The Los Angeles Lakers drafted Julius Randle with the seventh pick in the 2014 draft, and if all goes according to plan, he'll be the future of the franchise in an almost unimaginable post-Kobe Bryant world.
The question is: Will the rookie take the starting spot at power forward right away or will that belong to veteran big man Carlos Boozer?
B/R's Josh Martin recently hit on this topic, and he makes a defense for both talents. As Martin stated:
The real intrigue here lies between Randle and Boozer. One of these two will start at power forward for the Lakers on opening night. Who gets the nod and how Scott sorts out that situation over the long haul of the 2014-15 campaign may prove a microcosm of the delicate crossroads at which the Lakers currently find themselves.
Martin ultimately goes on to defend Boozer, stating, "For the time being, it would make more sense for Scott to give Boozer the starting nod and let Randle watch and learn behind a seasoned veteran who's better equipped to give the Lakers a boost from Day 1." But as we suspect, the Lakers aren't looking to contend from Day 1.
Boozer should be the favorite for the starting spot entering the season, but Randle should prove his worth early and often. This is a contest to watch for, and it's one that should be among the best positional battles across the Association.
The Los Angeles Lakers have already brought back one former L.A. player in Byron Scott, so why not make it two?
According to the Los Angeles Times' Mike Bresnahan, Scott is considering Robert Horry as a potential member of his staff. In fact, Bresnahan took the rumor one step further, declaring the Lakers have already reached out to the one-time forward.
Horry was a member of the Lakers franchise between 1997 and 2003, and while he never made an All-Star Game, he was a beloved member of three different championship teams. In total, Horry has won seven titles as members of the Lakers, Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs.
Also on the list of potential candidates, per Bresnahan, are Paul Pressey and Mark Madsen.
Lakers Interested in Shawn Marion?
The Los Angeles Lakers don't need more power forwards. They already have a surplus of talent at the position, and while Shawn Marion has played his share of the 4 throughout the years, signing with L.A. would give him a chance to highlight his skills at his more natural position: small forward.
Back on July 20, Dwain Price of Star-Telegram.com stated the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls and Charlotte Bobcats were teams worth watching out for when it comes to Marion's free-agent status. Since then, however, Eric Pincus of BasketballInsiders.com has made his opinion clear, stating, "Lakers essentially have 8 forwards - no, they're not getting Shawn Marion (opinion but come on)."
Regardless of how realistic it is, the rumor is out there that L.A. could be interested in Marion's services. And why wouldn't it be? He's an athletic swingman who brings three-point shooting and perimeter defense to any team he signs with.
Every team leaguewide can use a 3-and-D guy, and that's what Marion is even at this stage in his career. Marion is likely looking for a team in contention for a title, but if the limelight of Los Angeles calls his name, he could be had at a bargain-bin price with the 2014 offseason coming to a close before we know it.