The Los Angeles Lakers, having endured their worst ever season in the NBA in 2014-15, have had a long time to ponder plans for what could be a crucial offseason recruitment wise.
Although people talk about the 2016 free agency class headlined by Kevin Durant as one to watch for the Lakers, the next few months could prove pivotal if the franchise are to take steps towards recovery.
Close to home
And, according to reports from ESPN today, it looks like the famous franchise have earmarked one top star who already plays his basketball in LA as a man they would love to bring on board.
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Those of a Lakers persuasion would have enjoyed seeing their city rivals, the Los Angeles Clippers, exit the playoffs in shock fashion last night. That result may taste even sweeter today after ESPN's Ramona Shelburne noted how the Lakers "would love to steal" big man Deandre Jordan in the coming months.
Had the Clippers gone one to grab the NBA title this year, enticing Jordan away from the Lakers' rivals would have been that little bit harder. Instead they, along with several other teams, will feel they've a good chance of pulling it off.
Per Shelburne's report:
"The Dallas Mavericks are expected to make a strong push for Jordan, who would essentially be a younger version of the Mavs’ current defensive anchor Tyson Chandler. The Lakers would likewise love to steal Jordan away from their Staples Center rival."
Big offer, big decision
Heading into this summer as an unrestricted free agent, Deandre Jordan is expected to command a max contract after cementing his status as one of the NBA's top rim protectors.
With the Lakers having struggled hugely on the defensive side of the ball in recent seasons their interest in Jordan is sure to lead to a significant offer heading his way.
The Clippers, despite their postseason failure, do have one advantage over their Staples Center partners however. They have the right to offer Jordan a $108 million, five-year deal whilst all other offers can only be of a four-year variety.
Whether Doc Rivers and co feel that DeAndre Jordan is worth as much remains to be seen. With the franchise having struggled to transfer regular season success into playoff proficiency there is a real possibility that the Clippers opt to break up the trio of Jordan, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin that have brought excitement to LA over the past few years.
Lakers fans: Would you like to see Deandre Jordan in a Lakers jersey next season? Let us know in the comments below...
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