The Los Angeles Lakers plan to target Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside in the upcoming free agency period.
Whiteside averaged 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and a league-high 3.7 blocks during the 2015–16 regular season.
Los Angeles will have to compete with the Heat and Dallas Mavericks to sign Whiteside. Heat president Pat Riley made it clear after the season that he wants Whiteside back.
Whiteside is expected to earn a maximum contract in the $22 million range.
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DeMar DeRozan will not meet with the Lakers or any other team besides Toronto when NBA free agency opens July 1. DeRozan, an unrestricted free agent, is focused on re-signing with the Raptors and will consider other teams only if negotiations break down with the Raptors.
“My mindset has always been Toronto,” DeRozan said then. “I’ve always preached it. I was passionate about it when we were losing, when we were terrible. I said I was going to stick through this whole thing, and I want to be that guy who brings this organization to where it is now. I definitely don’t want to switch that up after we win.”
The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t among the first batch of teams set to meet with the big prize in NBA Free Agency this summer in Kevin Durant, and it doesn’t sound like they have much of a chance at signing the headlining act of July 1. The Lakers have “no shot” at signing Durant, according to what USA Today’s Sam Amick has been told early in the process.
Durant has meetings with the Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics lined up. The New York Knicks are a dark horse after their acquisition of Derrick Rose, according to Amick, but it remains unclear whether they’ll land a meeting with the crown jewel of free agency.
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