The Los Angeles Lakers will have upwards of $20 million in cap space this offseason if they decline Jordan Hill's team option. The team is preparing to use some of that money to sign unrestricted free agent small forward DeMarre Carroll of the currently Eastern Conference Finals participating Atlanta Hawks, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
Carroll averaged 16.2 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Hawks this season, and was part of the starting lineup when all five players were named the collective Eastern Player of the Month for the first time in NBA history in January. If the reports of the Lakers favoring the remaining player out of Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor pairing at the top of the draft are true, then it would make sense for the team to look for players to space the floor around their shiny new second overall pick and the returning Julius Randle. Spacing is something Carroll can provide, shooting 42.6% from three-point range for Atlanta this season. Carroll is also a plus defender, making him a prototypical three-and-D wing of the type the Lakers have lacked since the departure of Trevor Ariza in free agency.
Carroll left game one of the Eastern Conference Finals after injuring his knee driving to the basket, but has received the diagnosis of a bone bruise, meaning Carroll will likely suffer no long term effects of the injury.
According to reports, the Lakers have become a more attractive free agency destination since they acquired the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft. Whether that makes them Carroll's preferred destination, or if he is a priority for the front office, remains to be seen in July.