The Lakers might come up empty-handed this offseason.
Los Angeles could struggle to sign a top free agent this summer to pair with star LeBron James, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday during an appearance on the network’s mock draft show.
“This is an organization that is in a win-now mode with LeBron James. They’ve got to find, and very likely via trade, a co-star for LeBron James, because right now they are not a front-runner or even really a major consideration among any of the elite free agents."
The Lakers have reportedly been interested in dealing for star Anthony Davis since January and the Pelicans have begun listening to offers for him, according to an earlier report from ESPN. New Orleans is asking for an “All-Star player, a young player with All-Star potential and two first-round picks” in exchange for Davis, that report says.
“(If the Lakers are picking at No. 4) on draft night, they’re in trouble, because that means they didn’t get an AD trade done. … If they don’t get Anthony Davis, they’re going to have a hard time putting a team on the floor next year that LeBron James is going to be very happy about.”
The Lakers have been linked to Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler. Kyrie Irving has also reportedly become “more open” to joining Los Angeles.
"If the Lakers are drafting at No. 4 on draft night, they're in trouble" because they didn't make an Anthony Davis trade. The Lakers are not a frontrunner or really in consideration for any of the top-tier free agents."— ShowtimeForum (@ShowtimeForum) June 12, 2019
via @wojespn | @espn pic.twitter.com/6reZAy8Cql
"I think if people take a look at where this franchise is right now, we have a high draft pick. We have a great young core, maybe one of the best in the league,” Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka told reporters last month. “We have a superstar on our team, and an open slot. So, I think people can look at this as an opportunity to win a championship possibly next year."
The Lakers reportedly have been “actively shopping” the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, which is set for Thursday, June 20.