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Lakers are after two potential free agent options: Irving, VanVleet

The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, and we’re already hearing about some potential changes in the roster.

It seems that the elimination of the Lakers when they were swept in the Conference Finals brought a wave of rumors about the players who could reinforce them next season.
Isaiah J. DowningUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

It seems that the elimination of the Los Angeles Lakers after being swept in the Western Conference Finals is bound to change the team’s roster faster than expected. And since free agency is one of the ways the Lakers can make a quick and effective change, the team is already looking into their best options.

A wave of rumors about two players who are “at the top” of potential options to sign with the team next season is already circulating across the league: Kyrie Irving and Fed VanVleet.

Toronto Raptors guard VanVleet is on the Lakers’ radar amid the Raptors’ uncertainty and coaching search. The 29-year-old is represented by agent Rich Paul, who also represents both LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

VanVleet averaged 19.3 points and 7.2 assists and shot 34.2 percent from beyond the arc this season, and has 52 games of playoff experience during five postseason trips with Toronto.

He could also be a less expensive target for the Lakers than other players like Irving. His 2023-24 player option is worth $22.8 million.


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Irving, on the other hand, is clearly a risky addition to any team he joins due to his never-ending history of injuries and back-and-forth drama. So the Lakers would have to consider if he’s worth acquiring, given the added absence of Anthony Davis and LeBron James in recent years.

The veteran point guard’s projected $46.9 million (as the starting salary) would also not be ideal for a team expected to have only $29.6 million in practical salary cap space.

The Lakers’ ceiling with VanVleet might not be as high as it would be with Irving, but they would likely have a higher floor with him on the roster. After trading for Russell Westbrook blew up in the franchise’s face, going with what’s perceived as the safer play might be a more sensible course of action.

Kyrie Irving is out there. Fred VanVleet. When you look at the market next offseason, I think Kyrie Irving and Fred VanVleet should be at the top of the list. I’m not saying either one is likely for the Lakers, but I think if you’re from the Lakers, you have to look at those two guys and see if there’s any option that you can exhaust,” said Shams Charania.


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