With the NBA Draft firmly in the rear-view mirror, this Lakers Rumors Roundup will focus on the upcoming chaos of July 1st's opening to the 2014 NBA free agency period.
Kupchak: Kobe could play major role recruiting free agents
Speaking with Lakers Nation's Serena Winters, Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak freely admitted that Kobe Bryant could play a pivotal role when it comes to landing prime free agents this offseason:
Kupchak on Kobe & FA: "I would not be surprised if Kobe reaches out or free agents reach out to Kobe."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) June 27, 2014
In fact, Kupchak might also use Kobe's stature in the league in order to help the GM get in the ear of targeted free agents as the summer wears on.
Kupchak on Kobe’s input on free agency: "Post July 1st, I could ask him to make a phone call." — Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) June 27, 2014
As has been evidenced before, a happy Kobe makes a happy home at the Staples Center - so this could go very well for the Lakers and Lakers fans.
Melo expected to make free-agent decision by second week in July
Per Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears (via Corey Hansford of Lakers Nation), the Los Angeles Lakers could know within a couple of weeks if Carmelo Anthony believes Hollywood is right for him:
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony hopes to make a decision on where he will play next season in the second week of July after taking several free-agent visits, a source told Yahoo Sports [...] A source said there is currently no frontrunner for Anthony’s services, and he is expected to meet with the Knicks, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.
Also per Spears' report, Anthony is not expected to meet with any other teams than the five mentioned - which would leave the rumored Miami Heat scenario as dead in the water.
Therefore, it looks as if the Lakers are on the shortlist for Melo going into what will be a wild July.
Pau Gasol to re-sign?
With LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony set to hit the open market, one of their own free agents, Pau Gasol, seems to have been lost in the shuffle.
Yet, according to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, the Lakers are still very adamant about wanting Gasol back - at least in the short-term:
Lakers have a strong interest in resigning @paugasol .. but obviously have sights on LBJ/Melo right now
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 27, 2014
How the Lakers fare in their pitches for James and Melo could very well have a direct impact on whether they are willing to fully spend the cash to retain Gasol.
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