Lakers Rumors Roundup: Kobe Bryant uninterested in return, Kemba Walker could join in free agency and more
Despite the addition of LeBron James last summer, the Los Angeles Lakers missed out on the postseason for a sixth consecutive year. In the aftermath of their latest disappointing season, Luke Walton has exited as head coach, while Magic Johnson has also stepped down from his role as president of operations.
Evidently, the franchise is now facing a busy summer, and here are all the latest Lakers news and rumors circling the league.
Kemba Walker is reportedly the Lakers' most realistic target this summer
The Lakers want to pair a second All-Star with LeBron James this summer, and the team has been linked with some of the NBA's leading players such as Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. However, according to a recent report from Gabe Zaldivar of Forbes, the Lakers may have to lower their sights, with Kemba Walker among the team's most realistic targets:
In pouring over the best players on the market, the Lakers will rifle through the obvious: Kawhi Leonard, reportedly looking at Los Angeles but the other team (Clippers); Kevin Durant, a longshot that seems intent on heading to New York; Kyrie Irving, a reunion is exactly what Hollywood might do under the circumstances but let’s call this one doubtful.
With $35.4 million possibly available this summer, the Lakers are a kid with abundant birthday money but nowhere to spend it. This is where Kemba Walker comes in, a 28-year-old guard who is as near elite as secondary superstars come in 2019.
With a Davis deal looking grim and no other help coming in from upper-echelon players, someone like Walker is the perfect prolific scorer to shoulder some of the load from James’ shoulders.
At 29, Walker is firmly in his prime, and he is also coming off the most impressive season of his career, during which he averaged 25.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game.