Image: Timothy A. Clary | Getty Images

According to Mike Bresnahan and Eric Pincus of the LA Times, the Lakers’ plan back to prominence is slowly becoming clearer, but fans might need to wait one more season until that plan starts to take shape.

“The Lakers are not interested in possible free agent Carmelo Anthony, who claims he won’t break the New York Knicks’ bank to stay with them.”

The summer of 2014 was supposed to when the Lakers made a big splash in their attempt to become an NBA title contender again, but from the sound things, it is possible the team will look to 2015 to get the ball rolling.

But there is one scenario where the Lakers could make an impact this summer and that is if LeBron James opts-out of his contract and decides to enter free agency.

“If LeBron James opts out of his contract, they’ll make a phone call, but it’s a longshot he’ll leave Miami for the Lakers.”

If that scenario does not happen, why would the Lakers look to 2015?

“They do like Cleveland forward Luol Deng but don’t want to overpay for him this summer, meaning their eyes are firmly on Kevin Love in July 2015 and Kevin Durant in 2016.”

In 2015, Love has the ability to opt-out of his contract and become a free agent.   If that happens, he will be the premier target for the Lakers, which is not a surprise after the two have been linked over the past few seasons. 

In 2016, the Lakers, and really every other team with the ability to do, will pursue Kevin Durant, who could be a free agent that summer if he does not sign an extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The intriguing part of Durant’s potential free agency is that will more than likely be Kobe Bryant’s final season, opening up a nice chunk of cap space to potentially sign one of the best players in the league today.

There is still plenty of time before Love and Durant become realistic options for the Lakers, but it is always fun to speculate and talk about.

With this news, it is going to be a very interesting off season for the Lakers.  If no big moves are made, is the team looking at a similar season to the one they are currently experiencing?  If that is the case, will the fans accept another year of below average results?  Does D’Antoni keep his job if next season is just a bridge to the following summer?  Many questions will need to be answered.  Answers that could come in April once the Lakers regular season concludes.

General Manager Mitch Kupchak mentioned a few days ago that the Lakers plan could extend past one summer, so this news would not be shocking:

“I don’t think that we’ll use our cap money to patch together a team for next year. We’re looking to bring something [big] to Los Angeles,” he said. “May take more than one year to build, I don’t know. But because we have a lot of money this summer doesn’t mean we’ll spend it all. We’ll spend it wisely.”

The difference between this year and next year, the Lakers has its 2014 first round pick in the draft.  Next year though, their first round pick will belong to the Phoenix Suns unless the Lakers end up in the lottery again with a top five pick.

While it is fun to think about Love and Durant in the purple and gold, I can’t help but have some concerns.  This does seem like an all or nothing plan and if both players were to sign extensions with their respective teams or go elsewhere during free agency, where does that leave the Lakers after the Kobe era comes to a close?  One thing is for certain, fans expect results and are historically impatient.

Progress needs to be made this summer.  At the very least, this team needs to become a playoff team again because back-to-back years of missing the playoffs just does not happen to this franchise.  It is up to the front office to make sure that does not happen.

Stay with for all the latest news and rumors regarding the Los Angeles Lakers!

  • Andrew J. Abraham

    Now this is a good plan.

  • Pingback: NBA: LA Lakers Is Pursuing Kevin Love And Kevin Durant Instead

  • quickster007

    The Lakers knows what Carmelo can do nothing. Over hype scorer when he left Denver the team actually got better until they got rid of the coach. Getting Carmelo is like getting another Kobe don’t believe in passing the ball. The Lakers whether they know it or not are tanking the season. Let say they do, they should be able to draft Joel Embiid to play center. In 2015, when Nash and Pau are gone and 28 millons of cap space. The Lakers can go after Kevin Love to play the power forward spot. They can pay him 19 millions. If not, In 2016, when Kobe leaves for good, they can go after Kevin Durant for a small forward spot. They can offer him 20 millions a season. If Kevin Love has not signed with the Lakers. They can go after Anthony Davis and he can play the power forward spot. They can offer him 10 millions a season. They have enough money to look for a point guard and a shooting guard.

    • Marco

      you are crazy man. Anthony Davis will demand more than 10 million when his contract is up. Pau comes off the books this year, so your 2015 is not accurate. Nash might retire, or if the Lakers wave him, more salary cap space becomes available. Say we draft Embiid, keep Marshall, Jordan Hill, Young, Meeks, Johnson, Kobe, Farmar, and Kelly… That is young and athletic but won’t get you anywhere. We wait until 2015 and pursue Love to no avail, why not take Kyrie next season and Monroe this season? Monroe can play the 4 and Embiid the 5. A lineup in 2015 of Kyrie, Kobe, Young, Monroe, and Embiid is cool with me. Boozer will be a cheap pick up and might take low money to come to LA. If Noah ever comes off the books he could be a great pick up for LA. Not all stars win Championships. You don’t have to go after the biggest names to win, Pau Gasol stepped back for Kobe when he came to LA. Now we need someone to step up. Kyrie Irving.

  • J Taylor

    Phil Jackson can get them both to come to LA.

  • Max Prime

    This the best case scenario; Resign Gasol for 2yrs 8 or 9 Mil. Sign either Melo, Deng or Gay for 2yrs at SF. Hill and a Odom resign at PF. Marshall at PG. If we get a top five pick. We keep it. if it’s 6 or lower. We trade to Wolves for Love(Minny will do it). A healthy Kobe and Henry, Meeks, Kelly, Sacre, Bazemore, Johnson. And another athletic 7 footer in the second round.

  • Poonjab

    LA fans are so desperate. Kevin love leaving the Wolves who knows…. but for KD to leave the thunder to go to the lakers? common, lets go from a team with 44-15 to a team thats 20-39.
    Im happy the laker era is over, they have a pretty shitty fan base.

  • Tedi Wheeler

    I like Kevin Love but he hasn’t won anything either…..just saying.