The LA Lakers showed their hand early by taking Ohio State product D’Angelo Russell with the second overall pick and while many believe the young point guard is a star in the makings, general manager Mitch Kupchak must now find a legitimate center to help with the finishing touches and once again make this franchise one of the best in the game.
Free agency will begin shortly and the recent news that Brook Lopez has opted out of his contract with Brooklyn could be just what the “purple and gold” needs. The seven-footer is among the games best offensive big men and the type of player that would take pressure off Kobe Bryant, especially with the recent injury issues the All Star has encountered.
Ehran Kahn of Bleacher Report believes the addition of the 27-year-old would give the team a solid nucleus, but Kupchak would still need to find help on the glass, especially if they want to contend for another NBA title before Bryant retires.
Lopez has averaged nearly 18 points and over seven rebounds in his career, but his most surprising stat is 1.7 blocks per contest, not exactly bad numbers for an offensive player. The only downside is the veteran has missed well over 100 games to injuries over the last four years and with the amount of money he will earn with his next contract, it could hinder the front office if he goes down with a serious injury.
Another option for the LA Lakers and one that is closer to home, DeAndre Jordan of the LA Clippers. The former second round pick will turn 27 next month and is among the best defensive centers in the NBA. Jordan averaged 10 points and 15 rebounds last year in Los Angeles and is a shot blocking machine in the paint.
Kupchak still has work to do over the summer, but adding one of these two players would put his squad back in the mix as a top team in the Western Conference and with the youth added over the last two years, a solid group of players to lead this team into the future.