Upon Kobe Bryant's retirement at the conclusion of the 2015-16 NBA season, one of the Los Angeles Lakers most glaring offseason needs will be on the wing. Anthony Brown is set to be evaluated in the Lakers' last 20 games to see how much of that role he can take over, but the 2015 second round pick will in all likelihood not be ready to take over on the wing full-time. Nick Young will be under contract, but may not be on the roster by the end of the summer with the Lakers having looked repeatedly to trade him.
The Lakers will have to add depth at small forward either through free agency or the draft this summer. Berkeley's Jaylen Brown or Duke's Brandon Ingram loom as options in the latter scenario should the Lakers keep their top-three protected 2016 first round pick, but the team has also been rumored to be looking at wing options in free agency.
While the cream of the 2016 free agency crop and it's best wing player, Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant, is reportedly an extreme longshot, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, the Lakers are among the many team's expected to take a look at Chandler Parsons of the Dallas Mavericks this summer:
The list of teams interested in Parsons will be long, with sources expecting the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and Magic to be among Parsons' suitors. If Durant leaves Oklahoma City, add the Thunder to the list, with a potential reunion with Parsons' coach at Florida, Billy Donovan.
As is made obvious by that list, the Lakers would face stiff competition for the former second round pick turned max-salaried star. MacMahon also notes that Dallas remains the front-runner to retain Parsons, while the Magic are "expected to be especially intriguing to Parsons" should he look elsewhere.
The 6'10 Parsons does spend a fair amount of time as a small-ball power forward in Dallas, but he swings back and forth to the three spot as well, and has been on a torrid stretch heading into free agency. Parsons is averaging 18.8 points and 5 rebounds on 52.3 percent shooting this month. and has also showed that he is more than capable of fulfilling the "stretch" part of being a "stretch-four", shooting 48 percent on five three-pointers per game in 10 games in February.
Parson's fit with Julius Randle being less than perfect and his checkered health history are of some worry, but the versatile forward is certainly still worth recruiting for a talent starved Lakers team poised to have a league leading $65.8 million in cap space this summer. Orlando and Dallas still sound like the prohibitive favorites, but stranger things have happened than a player with modeling aspirations and a reputation for enjoying life off the court ending up in Los Angeles.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.