Lakers putting out free-agency feelers, waiting on Dwight Howard
Dwight Howard is the primary focus of the Lakers’ off-season. The free-agent center is currently making the rounds as he’s courted by teams such as the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Atlanta Hawks and Golden State Warriors.
Houston reportedly made a strong impression on Howard. The Warriors would be wholly dependent on the Lakers to facilitate a sign and trade. Howard can decide in the coming days but won’t be able to sign a contract until the league’s moratorium elapses on July 10.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have been linked to a laundry list of free agents. The difficulty will be adding talent when the team has just the taxpayer midlevel exception of $3.2 million to offer.
The Lakers had some contact with their former point guard Jordan Farmar (drafted in 2006 with the 26th pick), but he’s still under contract with Anadolu Efes of the Turkish Basketball League. Farmar stands to earn far more overseas than a $1.0-million minimum contract offer from the Lakers, which isn’t enough to pay for his buyout. Additionally the Lakers still have Steve Nash and Steve Blake at point guard.
Others linked to the Lakers include Brandan Wright, Carlos Delfino, Shawne Williams, Francisco Garcia, Nick Young, Wayne Ellington, Matt Barnes, Will Bynum, Chris Copeland and Byron Mullens (from various reports including The Times and ESPN).
Mullens is a stretch forward who would fit well with Howard. The Charlotte Bobcats did not tender a qualifying offer to Mullens, making him an unrestricted free agent.
The Clippers hope to re-sign Barnes. Copeland is a restricted free agent with the New York Knicks, making him an extreme longshot for the Lakers.
Naturally it will be difficult for the Lakers to make a commitment until they get one from Howard, but the team would like to add shooting and length defensively to the roster.
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