Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Markieff Morris returns to the Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers have been busy this offseason bringing in even more talent. Already a favorite to defend their NBA title, the defending champions are now welcoming back Markieff Morris.
Morris is signing a one-year deal for the minimum, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. He received plenty of interest from contenders, including the Los Angeles Clippers. Ultimately, the 31-year-old forward chose to run it back with the Lakers.
Morris originally signed with the Lakers in February, following a buy out with the Detroit Pistons. Across 14 games in Los Angeles, he averaged around 14 minutes per night. During that time on the court, he averaged 5.3 points and 3.2 rebounds.
In the NBA Playoffs, Morris continued to play at a high level off the bench. Even more importantly for the Lakers, his physicality at the four allowed the team to put Anthony Davis at center. It created all kinds of mismatches, leading to a title.
Los Angeles Lakers roster: Depth chart after team’s busy offseason
- PG: Dennis Schroder*, Alex Caruso
- SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope*, Wesley Matthews
- SF: LeBron James*, Alfonzo McKinnie, Talen Horton-Tucker
- PF: Anthony Davis*, Markieff Morris, Kyle Kuzma
- C: Marc Gasol*, Montrezl Harrell
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Team officially signs Marc Gasol
The defending champs officially have a new center to help Anthony Davis. After a series of moves to create the necessary cap space, Los Angeles has signed three-time All-Star center Marc Gasol. According to ESPN, it’s a two-year deal for the 35-year-old Gasol.
This was an important move for Los Angeles after it lost Dwight Howard in free agency and traded away starting center JaVale McGee earlier on Sunday (scroll down).
Gasol averaged 7.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists on 43% shooting from the field with the Toronto Raptors a season ago. He’s expanded his shooting to the mid-range and beyond the three-point line. Equally as important, Gasol is an upgrade on the defensive end of the court.
Still boasting an ability to add three vet-minimum players to their roster, it would not be a surprise if the Lakers signed another big man. In fact, DeMarcus Cousins could potentially return to the defending champs on a one-year deal. It’s something to keep an eye on as the Lakers round out their roster with a month to go before the 2020-21 NBA season starts.
Updated: Nov. 22, 7:55 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Team trades JaVale McGee to the Cavaliers
The defending champs are making moves to upgrade their supporting cast behind All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. This latest trade should indirectly accomplish that. According to multiple media reports, Los Angeles has traded center JaVale McGee and a future second-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers as a cost-cutting move.
While not yet confirmed, this trade should free up the necessary finances to sign All-Star big man Marc Gasol away from the Toronto Raptors. Ridding themselves of McGee’s $4.2 million salary will help the Lakers make a more competitive pitch to Gasol. The Lakers will get Alfonzo McKinnie and Jordan Bell back in the deal. Both are on non-guaranteed contracts and will be waived.
It was noted earlier on Sunday (scroll down) that the Lakers were favorites to sign Gasol. It would be a way to make up for the loss of Dwight Howard in free agency. As for the loss of McGee, he started all 68 games at center for the Lakers last season. The veteran averaged 6.6 points and 5.7 rebounds on a resounding 64% shooting from the field.
Assuming Los Angeles signs Gasol, it will be a combination of centers in Southern California this coming season. Davis and the recently signed Montrezl Harrell can play the five in a pinch.
Updated: Nov. 22, 3:42 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Team favored to sign Marc Gasol
The Los Angeles Lakers are just a few weeks removed from winning the NBA title. Now, with the 2020-21 season slated to start in about a month, Los Angeles continues to make moves.
That previously included trading for Dennis Schroder and signing Montrezl Harrell as well as fellow wing Wesley Matthews. Los Angeles still doesn’t seem to be done filling out the most-talented roster in the NBA.
According to multiple media reports, the Lakers are favored to sign All-Star big man Marc Gasol away from the Toronto Raptors. According to John Hollinger of The Athletic, there’s a ton of moving parts here. That includes trading away JaVale McGee’s contract and working out a sign-and-trade with the Raptors.
Other reports suggest that the New York Knicks have shown interest in taking on McGee’s contract under their salary cap. That would require Los Angeles throwing an asset or two in the Knicks’ direction in order to help facilitate a deal with Gasol.
A three-time All-Star, Gasol was an original second-round pick of these Lakers back in 2007. He’s coming off a 2019-20 season that saw the big man average 7.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists on 43% shooting from the field. He’s also a tremendous defensive presence, which is needed in Los Angeles following the departure of Dwight Howard in free agency.
UPDATE: Nov. 21, 8:20 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Team re-signs Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
After winning the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers knew bringing back Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would be critical to defending their title in the 2020-’21 season. After facing some competition from around the league, Los Angeles is bringing KCP back.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Caldwell-Pope is signing a three-year contract worth $40 million. The deal, which was confirmed by Klutch Sports, included a partial guarantee for the third season and allows him to average $15 million annually in the first two years of the agreement.
After opting out of the $8.4 million he would be owed under his original contract, Caldwell-Pope lands a massive raise. While it’s a high price, the 27-year-old proved his worth to Los Angeles during the NBA Playoffs.
He averaged 10.7 points during the playoffs, making 2.1 triples per contest. Never afraid to take the shot in clutch situations, KCP’s reliability and confidence on the outside fills a need for the Lakers. He also provides reliable defense at the wing.
The Lakers will now turn their focus to finding a big to solidify their bench, with DeMarcus Cousins a potential candidate on a minimum deal. Los Angeles has upgraded from Rajon Rondo to Dennis Schroder, Dwight Howard to Montrezl Harrell, and replaced Danny Green with Wesley Matthews.
UPDATE: Nov. 20, 10 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Montrezl Harrell signs two-year contract
The Los Angeles Lakers delivered the most surprising move on the first day of NBA free agency, signing Montrezl Harrell to a two-year contract.
Harrell, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, is coming off a tremendous season for the Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged a career-high 18.6 points per game, shooting 57% from the field. He added some nice stats to pair with the scoring, averaging 7.1 points and 1.1 blocks per game.
The deal, first reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, fills the void left with Dwight Howard signing with the Philadelphia 76ers. Howard tweeted that he was returning to the Lakers, before deleting it minutes later and signing with Philadelphia.
Klutch Sports, who also represent LeBron James, Anthony Davis and several other Lakers, negotiated the teal to bring Harrell to Los Angeles. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are using their mid-level exception on the two-year, $19 million contract. Harrell will have a player opt-out after the 2020-’21 season.
With the addition of Harrell and Dennis Schroder, the Lakers will welcome the Sixth Man of the Year winner and the runner-up. Los Angeles also signed Wesley Matthews on Friday night, potentially filling the void that will be left if Kentavious Caldwell-Pope signs elsewhere.
UPDATE: Nov. 20, 6:30 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Wesley Matthews signs one-year contract
After adding Dennis Schroder to bolster their backcourt, the Los Angeles Lakers kicked off NBA free agency with another significant addition. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Wesley Matthews is signing a one-year deal worth $3.6 million to join Los Angeles.
Once the Milwaukee Bucks declined Matthews’ $2.7 million option, the Lakers immediately jumped out as a landing spot. The team needed a 3-and-D wing, with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope set to test free agency. Now, they’ve plugged the gap.
Matthews hit 36.4% from beyond the arc during the 2019-’20 season with the Bucks and boasts a 38.1% mark in 791 career games. Just as important, Milwaukee was a better team defensively this past year when Matthews was on the court.
UPDATE: Nov. 16, 10:25 AM EST
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to explore NBA free agency
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, guard Kentavious Cadwell-Pope is set to decline his $8.53 million player option for the 2020-’21 season. Once he hits free agency, KCP is expected to find a strong market with several suitors.
Caldwell-Pope proved to be a valuable player for the Lakers this past season, playing a key role on their way to an NBA title. While he averaged just 9.3 points in the regular season, he stepped up in the bubble with 10.7 points per game and shot 37.8% from beyond the arc.
Even after acquiring Dennis Schroder, Los Angeles would be smart to make KCP one of its top priorities this offseason. He is a valuable 3-and-D contributor, an asset that every contender values. Unless his price gets too high, a return to the Lakers is possible.
Updated: Nov. 15, 8:18 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Anthony Davis officially declines player option
Technically, Lakers star big man Anthony Davis will hit free agency when the market opens later this week. Davis has officially declined the $27.8 million option his contract for next season. This is pretty much nothing more than a technicality.
It’s been noted multiple times since Los Angeles earned the NBA title last month that Davis would opt out of said deal. He’ll now re-sign with the Lakers on a two-year deal worth the maximum. The Lakers can offer Davis $202 million over five seasons. However, it makes more sense for him to take a two-year deal with a player option for a third season.
Acquired from the New Orleans Pelicans ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season, the 27-year-old Davis averaged 26.1 points and 9.3 rebounds on 50% shooting during the regular year. He brought it up a bit in the playoffs, averaging 27.7 points and 9.7 rebounds.
This comes on the heels of news that Los Angeles is on the verge of acquiring guard Dennis Schröder in a trade with the Thunder. Two major shoes have dropped for the defending champs heading into free agency and the trade season.
Updated: Nov. 15, 1:37 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Team eyeing replacement for Danny Green
Rumors coming from Southern California are hot and heavy one day before NBA teams can finalize trades. That includes the Los Angeles Lakers being on the verge of acquiring Dennis Schröder from the Oklahoma City Thunder for a package that includes veteran forward Danny Green and the Lakers’ first round pick in next week’s NBA Draft.
As much as the Lakers needed to find an upgrade at point guard, they now have a hole out on the wing. According to this note from Marc Stein of The NY Times, Los Angeles is looking to fill that void by signing Milwaukee Bucks forward Wesley Matthews.
Matthews, 34, would be a tremendous fit at both the two and three in Los Angeles. This past season saw the veteran averaged 7.4 points on 36% shooting from three-point range. Matthews is a career 38% three-point shooter. That much will be needed now that Green is done in Los Angeles after just one season.
On a related note, it appears that Rajon Rondo has played his final game with the Lakers. Reports indicate that he’s going to sign elsewhere. That’s one of the primary reasons Los Angeles is on the verge of trading for Schröder.
Updated: Nov. 12, 7:01 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Team interested in DeMar DeRozan trade
It’s not a secret that the Los Angeles Lakers are attempting to find a third scoring option behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They have already been linked to Chris Paul in trade rumors over the past few weeks. The defending champs are now reportedly looking to acquire fellow All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer suggests that said deal would include forward Kyle Kuzma heading to the San Antonio Spurs as the headliner. Danny Green and a first-round pick would also head to San Antonio in the proposed trade.
DeRozan, 31, is a native of Compton in Southern California. He grew up a Lakers fans and would be a major get for the defending champs. The All-Star shooting guard averaged 22.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.6 assists on 53% shooting in his first season with the Spurs.
Updated: Nov. 11, 7:17 PM EST
The NBA is planning for teams to host fans in a limited capacity for the 2020-21 season starting in just over a month. Some teams simply won’t be able to do that due to COVID-19 protocols. Los Angeles Lakers rumors point in that direction for the defending champions.
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Team won’t host fans to start season
This really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Los Angeles boasts one of the strictest local protocols when it comes to the virus. The NFL’s Rams and Chargers have not been able to host fans throughout the 2020 season. Meanwhile, the Lakers’ championship parade has already been postponed.
All of this comes at a time that the United States is facing the most severe part of the pandemic heading into the winter months. The idea of hosting fans, as the NBA is suggesting that it will do, could ultimately do more harm than good.
Updated: Nov. 8, 10:18 PM EST
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: Team interested in Serge Ibaka
It’s been less than a month since the Los Angeles Lakers earned their first NBA title in a decade. However, the organization needed to look forward to the offseason immediately given its truncated nature. We’re now hearing some Lakers rumors, and they are rather interesting. That includes reports that they will target Raptors big man Serge Ibaka in free agency.
Despite the Lakers’ financial situation, rumors continue to persist that they’ll be active both in free agency and on the trade block. With that said, this is rather interesting stuff.
Los Angels Lakers rumors: Team to target Serge Ibaka in free agency
“From a personnel standpoint, he is exactly the kind of combo big guy that team (Los Angeles) needs,” one NBA general manager told Sean Deveney from Heavy.com. “They have had interest in him before and they will again. When he is healthy he is an excellent spot starter at the 5 (center) and the 4 (power forward). He is as good a bench big guy as there is in the league. He was a really credible 3-point threat last year. If he is willing to accept what the Lakers can afford to give him, I know they would want him.”
Unless the 31-year-old Ibaka opts to take a below-market deal, it’s highly unlikely that the Lakers will be able to afford him once NBA free agency starts later this month.
Los Angeles is over the cap. It will only have a mid-level exception ($9.8 million) to offer the NBA champion on a short-term deal.
Related: 2020 NBA Mock Draft
Ibaka is coming off a 2019-20 season with the Toronto Raptors that saw him average 15.4 points and 8.2 rebounds on 51% shooting from the field. He’s expanded his game to beyond the three-point line (39%), which is something the Lakers need. That’s one of the reasons these rumors are popping up.
With that said, the veteran big man is coming off a three-year, $65 million contract with the Raptors. They join a number of other teams in being able to offer Ibaka more than the Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers rumors: More information heading into free agency
- According to this note from Forbes, the Lakers are also rumored to be interested in signing Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson. That’s no surprise given LeBron James’ history with his former teammate. Obviously, the Lakers are looking for help at power forward and center.
- A rumor that remains highly unlikely, the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in future Hall of Fame guard Chris Paul. How this might work financially is anyone’s best guess. Paul is owed $90 million over the next two seasons. Los Angeles is over the cap. They’d have to move Danny Green, Avery Bradley, JaVale McGee, Kyle Kuzma and Quinn Cook while enticing the Thunder with low-value late first-round picks. In short, it’s not happening.