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Lakers Free Agency: LaMarcus Aldridge gaining interest in signing with Lakers, according to report

Look out, the Lakers are catching the attention of one of the best available free agents.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of building a better future, and landing a big-time free agent would give them even more stability as they move forward. The Lakers are now moving up LaMarcus Aldridge's destination list, according to Marc Stein of ESPN, which bodes well for the purple and gold. The Lakers have been considered far behind both the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs, but Los Angeles has now moved ahead of Dallas as the No. 2 landing spot for LaMarcus.

The Portland Trail Blazers may be preparing for his departure after trading Nicolas Batum to the Charlotte Hornets for Noah Vonleh and Gerald Henderson. Vonleh, the ninth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, played in just 25 games through his rookie season. The Trail Blazers could have made a play for depth, but it also netted them a young big man to rebuild with if Aldridge moves on.

The Lakers have cap space to make a big offer to any of the available talents, and Aldridge is an appealing target as an unrestricted free agent. LaMarcus would give the Lakers an All-Star frontcourt player who can provide stability in what could be young core featuring the No. 2 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson.

Here's the latest on the Aldridge front, via Stein: reported in May that both the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks strongly believe they'll have a great shot to lure Aldridge back to his home state of Texas next month. But sources said this week that Aldridge is actually thinking more and more about a free-agent jump to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Lakers, sources added, firmly believe they will now be in the Aldridge hunt. As first reported ‎Monday, Lakers officials also continue to try to press the Sacramento Kings to trade them All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins.

Aldridge could be the kind of established player that draws additional max-level players to Los Angeles down the road. Still, San Antonio is considered the favorite to sign him if he does leave the Trail Blazers. It's a promising sign that one of the top players on the open market is gaining interest in joining the Lakers, but it's still too early to call this anything more than another free agency rumor to consume with a grain of salt.

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