The Los Angeles Lakers are "interested" in free agent Portland Trail Blazers center Robin Lopez, according to ESPN's Chris Broussard. Lopez averaged 9.6 points and 6.7 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per game for the Blazers in the 2014-15 season.
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Earlier today, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports tweeted that the Lakers were trying to clear up additional cap space, and his colleague Marc J. Spears also mentioned that one of his sources said that LaMarcus Aldridge "loves" playing with Lopez. Could those two things be related?
If the Lakers want both big men, they would have to convince one or both of them to take discounts, or move a few of their guaranteed contracts. The Lakers are currently projected to have as much as $23 million in cap space to use this summer (or possibly more, if Ken Berger's report of the cap being higher than projected holds true), and a max contract for Aldridge (whom the front offices is making a prime target, meeting with him as soon as free agency begins) would start at approximately $18 million per year, which would only leave about $5 million in space with which to sign Lopez if the team does not move any of it's guaranteed deals.
Alternatively, the team may be interested in Lopez regardless of whether they sign Aldridge. The 7-year NBA veteran out of Stanford is primarily lauded for his defensive abilities, and the Lakers desperately need to find some semblance of rim protection to clean up a defense which ranked 29th out of 30 NBA teams over the course of the 2014-15 campaign. The biggest caveat against signing Lopez would seem to be the potential medical suits the Lakers would be opening themselves up to if the big man cannot curb his habit for attacking mascots.