LaMarcus Aldridge will be one of the biggest free agents that will be looking for a new home and the Los Angeles Lakers might be moving into position to land the All-Star big man. Aldridge "was leaning toward" the Lakers, according to what Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times has heard. The Lakers are expected to focus their efforts on signing LaMarcus, with a four-year, $80 million contract to bring him down the Pacific coast.
Aldridge would provide the Lakers with a stabilizing presence in their frontcourt, allowing their young core to develop without needing to pile on pressure to perform immediately. LaMarcus has been one of the NBA's most versatile frontcourt players, standing as the Portland Trail Blazers' most consistent force over the last nine seasons.
The Lakers are hoping to address roster needs at both power forward and center during free agency, and Aldridge would give them a player that can moonlight at the five in spots. It's unclear if he would be open to play extended periods as the team's center so he can play beside Julius Randle, which will certainly be a discussion point between both sides.
LaMarcus is expected to meet with the Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs during free agency. Portland, however, has been maknig roster moves to provide additional frontcourt depth, and Aldridge is said to have informed the Blazers he plans on moving on.
Whether or not the Lakers actually are Aldridge's top destination will remain a mystery until his decision is official made. Free agency begins on July 1, and rumors will continue to sprout around all of the top available talent and should be taken with a grain of salt. If he really is thinking Lakers, though, he'd be a huge jump in talent for the purple and gold.