After Losing Jonas Valanciunas To Wizards, Lakers Focus On New Center

After Losing Jonas Valanciunas To Wizards, Lakers Focus On New Center

Jonas Valanciunas was one of three or so players LeBron James expressed a willingness to take a pay cut from the Los Angeles Lakers for.

If the front office could get him, James said, he would take a smaller deal from L.A.

Unfortunately, Valanciunas didn’t seem interested in playing with James or coming to the Lakers. Rather than joining the purple and gold, he signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Washington Wizards.

L.A. responded to this quickly. First they immediately switched their focus onto a new star player. Then they made it a priority to re-sign two key contributors from last year. And finally, they promptly put four expendable pieces on the trade block.

So where does that leave Los Angeles as far the five-spot goes, though? Well, Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka have seemingly switched their focus onto a different center.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers “have an eye on trading for” Milwaukee Bucks big man, Brook Lopez.

The report also notes that Lopez is viewed as “one of the primary options on the Lakers’ board of hopeful acquisitions.” Fischer further added that L.A. “has also been exploring trade scenarios with the contracts of D’Angelo Russell, Rui Hachimura, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Gabe Vincent.”

Whether any combination of those players would actually be enough to facilitate a trade centered around Lopez is unclear. Frankly, on paper, it doesn’t seem like it.

That being said, if the Lakers can find a way to get Lopez, it would be huge for the roster. Not only is he a center who could slide in effortlessly next to Anthony Davis, but he would also alleviate some of the team’s shooting deficiencies.

Last year Lopez averaged 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. He put up those numbers while shooting 48.5 percent from the field and 36.6 percent from beyond the arc.

In a lot of ways, he is the most perfect player available to the Lakers this offseason. Will they be able to close on him, though? Time will tell.

Carlos Garcia

A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.
Back to top button