Report: L.A. Lakers are making Hassan Whiteside a top priority in free agency

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The Los Angeles Lakers have struck out a fair few times in recent years when it comes to free agency.

Whether the huge shadow of Kobe Bryant turned players away, or if it was the fact the Lakers had a shallow and inept roster that was bound for the depths of the Western Conference, one can only speculate.

This year, though, feels a little different. With enough cap space for two max-contracts, Kobe's departure and a blossoming young core, the Staples Center might be an appealing place to work once more.

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Also scoring Kevin Durant is probably a stretch too far, there are reports that the Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside could be a top target for the Purple and Gold.

Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported: "There is a sense that Whiteside is one of the top names on the Lakers’ wish list of free agents, with the Celtics also interested. The problem with trying to peg either as having some edge over the other neglects that Whiteside could be the most obtainable free agent in the class and likely gets a lot of interest beyond those two suitors.

"He’s comfortable there, has had success there and they can pay him the most money of any team in the league. Assuming that’s the offer from the Heat, there is a better than average chance he signs a new deal. If the Heat try to play games, sources close to the situation say Whiteside will go shopping."

The Lakers are in dire need of a rim protector and somebody that can screen and set up pick-and-rolls for their talented backcourt.

Whiteside would be pretty much perfect, but the question will remain: why would he leave South Beach?

Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Hassan Whiteside

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