Los Angeles Lakers lose one of their rumored free agency targets to Washington Wizards

Washington Wizards
Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Days ahead of the start of NBA free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers were linked to signing former New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas to pair with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Hours into free agency, the Washington Wizards have foiled the Lakers’ plans.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Wizards have agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract with Valanciunas. Now 32 years old, Valanciunas is a former fifth overall pick, and has spent the past three seasons as the Pelicans’ starting center. He previously spent three seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies and seven more with the Toronto Raptors.

But now Valanciunas is set to join his fourth NBA team, where he will start at center for a young, rebuilding Wizards team seeking a new identity under head coach Brian Keefe. Valanciunas, at 6-foot-11, 265 pounds, brings another large presence to Washington’s frontcourt, where he’ll pair with the newly drafted Frenchman Alex Sarr, who stands in at 7-feet, 216 pounds.

While the Wizards may still be trying to find the right combination in their backcourt, it appears their frontcourt is taken care of for the next three years. Now it’s just about developing their young players and finding other impact players who can help spark this rebuild. But getting Valanciunas on a reasonable contract is a nice addition.

Related: 10 Los Angeles Lakers free agency targets to spend MLE

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