After a quiet trade deadline, the Lakers will shift their focus to the buyout market, according to Mark Medina of USA Today, who takes a closer look at the team’s pursuit of big men such as Andre Drummond and LaMarcus Aldridge.
While a Thursday night report from Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports confirmed that the Lakers will get an opportunity to talk to both players, Aldridge is believed to be leaning toward the Heat, according to multiple reports. If so, the Lakers figure to zero in on Drummond, and executives around the league believe L.A. is the frontrunner to land the big man after he finalizes a buyout with Cleveland.
Appearing on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin Show on Friday morning (video link), ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that a number of Lakers players have already been making an effort to recruit Drummond, who could potentially slide right into a starting role in Los Angeles.
Here’s more on the Lakers:
- Lakers guard Dennis Schröder strongly hinted that he plans to reach free agency rather than signing an in-season extension, telling reporters on Thursday that while he wants to stick with the Lakers, he also wants to “see my options” (Twitter link via Bill Oram of The Athletic). A Thursday report stated that the Lakers and Schröder remain far apart in extension negotiations.
- While he didn’t specifically confirm Shams Charania’s Thursday report that said Anthony Davis (calf) will miss at least two more weeks, head coach Frank Vogel said last night that Davis is “still a ways away,” tweets Medina.
- Upon returning to the Lakers this week, Marc Gasol detailed his recent bout with COVID-19, admitting that the virus seriously affected him, as Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register writes. “I had a little bit of headaches, but I’m like, ‘Well, hopefully I’m going to be pretty much asymptomatic,'” Gasol said. “And then when it hits you, it hits you really hard, at least for me.”
- The Lakers allowed fans into Staples Center for the first time on Thursday night, albeit on a small scale. The team received permission from local health officials to have 50 fans in the arena, tweets Dave McMenamin of ESPN.