Update: Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News has confirmed the Lakers' interest in Anderson. Original story follows.
Normally everybody is on the lookout for #WojBombs in the lead-up to NBA Free Agency, but Ramona Shelburne of ESPN set of some fireworks of her own on Thursday night. Instead of just dropping one name on Lakers fans, Shelburne carpet bombed everyone's timelines with five.
"The Lakers' priorities in free agency were shooting and rim protection," wrote Shelburne. "Among names I've heard interest in: Ryan Anderson, [Chandler] Parsons, [Nicolas] Batum, [Kent] Bazemore, and Tyler Zeller."
The Lakers' and Parsons' mutual interest was already out there, as was news that the team would talk with Batum and Anderson. Bazemore and Zeller hasn't been reported as targets as of yet, and both are interesting names to add to the Lakers' (rumored) list.
#FormerAndPossilbeFutureLaker Bazemore is one of the top wing options on the market after a breakout season in Atlanta. The former undrafted free agent was set free and learned to fly with the Atlanta Hawks, combining his always tenacious defense with solid three-point shooting (35.7 percent on the year) and overall improved offensive production in a starting role. He also might be gettable, with Atlanta in a weird holding pattern after trading point guard Jeff Teague and now waiting to see whether or not Al Horford will return.
Zeller is not a flashy name, but he'd be a solid option to soak up minutes at center for Los Angeles. The seven-footer played just 11.8 minutes per game for the Boston Celtics last season, but produced while he was on the floor, averaging 18.5 points, nine rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per 36 minutes. He likely won't replicate those numbers if given starter's minutes (especially the scoring), but they do demonstrate he is capable of helping a team.
We've written previously about Batum and Anderson's fits, but Anderson would be a weird option given that he'll likely be seeking a max and can only play power forward (aka the Lakers only position of depth on the roster currently), so this is more likely just the Lakers seeing if they can bring him in at a decent price (Spoiler Alert: They can't).
As for the price tags on Bazemore and Zeller, who knows in this cap environment. Bazemore will likely get close to the max, while Zeller is a total wild card. Just how interested the Lakers are in any of these five guys remains to be seen, but all of them will come with a heftier price tag than many fans would expect.