This offseason will be the Lakers’ chance to rebuild a championship roster.
As the NBA Finals wind down and the Aug. 2 free-agency start date approaches, the Lakers are reportedly interested in Lonzo Ball and Carmelo Anthony.
The Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs in six games by the Suns in the first round.
For a team that consistently struggled with outside shooting throughout their title defense, that should be a priority for Los Angeles as it bolsters the roster.
The 23-year-old Ball is a soon-to-be restricted free agent who played for the Lakers between 2017-19 before being traded to the Pelicans as part of the package for Anthony Davis.
Back in March, Ball’s father, LaVar, said that his son wanted to leave New Orleans in a radio interview. While Lonzo has denied these rumors, it is unclear if the Pelicans would match an extensive offer sheet for the point guard.
According to a Substack newsletter by New York Times reporter Marc Stein, the Lakers are hoping to bring Ball back.
The team is hoping to allow James and Davis to spend more time off the ball and are looking for a playmaker whom can facilitate open shots for the two stars.
Stein, however, noted that a potential reunion would be “obstacle-strewn.”
New Orleans can match any offer made to Ball, and the Lakers may lack the cap space to provide a sizable offer. The two teams could possibly figure out a sign-and-trade agreement, but that would also open up a $142 million hard cap that the team is already dangerously close to hitting.
The Clippers and Bulls also have a high level of interest in Ball, according to The Athletic.
Ball provides an arsenal of defensive versatility and his 3-point shooting (37.5 percent) has improved in New Orleans. Ball averaged 14.6 points, 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in 55 starts last season.
There have been previous reports that Anthony and the Lakers are interested in one another.
Come August, Anthony will be a free agent after two seasons with the Blazers, and while he no longer averages over 35 points as he did with the Knicks, the 37-year-old still has a lot to offer a team.
For the past two seasons, the forward averaged 14.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in around 25 minutes per game as he successfully went from star to veteran role player.
Unlike Ball, Anthony is known for his outside shooting; this season he posted his best career 3-point percentage at 41 percent.
The 10-time All-Star is still searching for his first NBA championship and is notably close with James.