The Los Angeles Lakers aren't planning on waiting to see how free agency opens, making a strong move to kick the gates open. The Lakers are meeting with unrestricted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge as soon as free agency begins at 9 p.m. PT Tuesday night, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. This makes the Lakers the first team to meet with the highly sought-after big man.
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The Lakers are said to be focusing their attention on Aldridge, armed with a four-year, $80 million contract offer to make him a part of their hopefully-surging rebuild. Los Angeles would be adding an All-Star talent that could immediately make the Lakers a destination for other top-tier players in the future. Aldridge, along with Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and No. 2 pick D'Angelo Russell would be an appealing core of players going forward.
Aldridge's interest in the Lakers has been increasing over the summer, and a report from Ben Bolch of the LA Times indicates he's actually "leaning toward" signing with Los Angeles. Meeting as soon as free agency negotiations can occur is another good sign for the Lakers.
LaMarcus would likely become the team's starting power forward, while he'd hopefully be open to playing some center in order to play next to Randle. Julius would become the team's sixth man, giving him a chance to see the floor in stretches instead of being heavily relied on immediately.
Rumors will surely continue spreading regarding Aldridge to the Lakers, but it's always worth keeping in mind how many factors are in play with these high-level talks.