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Report: After they strike out with big names Lakers likely to target Lowry, Monroe, Ariza

Jun 30, 2014, 10:54 AM EDT

It speaks to the mentality of the Lakers and their fans that the first none paragraphs of Ramona Shelburne’s latest on the team at ESPNLosAngeles.com talks about them going after LeBron James and meeting with Carmelo Anthony, and how to help lure those guys they may re-sign Pau Gaol.

The reality is the Lakers lack a win-now infrastructure that Anthony or LeBron would be attracted to — the Lakers have an aging Kobe Bryant and…. not much else right now. Phoenix is in a better spot to add a superstar to their roster and win right now (and they have the cap space to do it).

[MORE: Ranking the Top 50 free agents]

So when the Lakers strike out big game hunting in free agency, where will they turn? Shelburne gets to that.

If they are unable to land Anthony or James, the Lakers are also expected to have a strong interest in Washington free-agent forward Trevor Ariza, Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, Detroit center Greg Monroe and Phoenix forward Channing Frye, according to sources.

Let’s rank these for fun:

1) Kyle Lowry. Lowry would be a good piece next to Kobe Bryant and because he is dynamic and can create shots for himself and others, plus he is a tenacious defender. He would take some of the offensive pressure off Bryant and make whoever they get besides that (likely a bunch of one year contract guys) look better. This question however describes how far things have fallen for the Lakers: Is Lowry willing to leave Toronto and a pretty good team for L.A.?

2) Greg Monroe. He has a very versatile offensive game — can play from the pinch post or the traditional post — is a good passer and just is a generally good player. If Mitch Kupchak is one of the GMs around the league that thinks what has held Monroe’s development back is the Pistons and their system this is a good piece for years to come.

3) Trevor Ariza. Ariza had a really nice contract year for the Wizards — he’s done that before, then fallen off after. Buyer beware. If the Lakers think his three point shooting has really turned the corner he’s a nice pick up, but he’s a third option not a primary one.

4) Channing Frye. You fire Mike D’Antoni and now you go get a stretch four?

I think the question many are asking is if the Lakers strike out with their big swings will they really spend much on anyone to fill out the roster, or will they keep their powder dry for the summer of 2015 (and start looking at trade options).

[MORE: Lakers 'not ruling out' Pau Gasol returning in free agency]

  1. maddenwizkid - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Lowry
    Bryant
    Young
    Randle
    Gasol
    Needs a coach(Scott)
    And some depth ?
    But could make a run at a 6-8 seed
    And as a laker fan that would be a decent start to the rebuld.somehow optimistic yet still dissapointing

    • sprest83 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM

      LOL, there is no way that roster makes it to 6-8 seed in the east. Dallas barely made it last year with a better roster/coach than that.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        Sorry, DAL roster last year is NOT better then that proposed above.

        Lowry> Calderon
        Bryant> Ellis
        Young> Marion
        Randle vs Dirk TBD (but it looks like a wash off top)
        Gasol> Dalembert

        Soooo…no.

      • smoothaswilkes - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

        @00maltliquor

        “Randle vs Dirk TBD (but it looks like a wash off top)”

        You are crazy if you think a rookie that hasn’t played a minute in the NBA is a wash with a perennial 20/10 guy that is first ballot HOF. smh.

        And to prove how out of touch you are with reality, both Calderon and Dalembert aren’t even on the Mavericks anymore. They were traded to the Knicks last week.

      • 00maltliquor - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        @ smooth

        Oooh I knew an idiot would be coming out the woodworks! Learn TO READ^.

        sprest83 said “Dallas barely made it last year with a better roster”, KEY WORD:LAST YEAR.

        And Dirk isn’t a 20/10 guy. When was the last time Dirk averaged a double double? foh
        Look, you don’t know what Randle has in him yet and niether do I, but I’d take him over Dirk who I know for a fact is declining.

        So let’s just put Dirk over Randle, that may be true…you got ONE player…wooooo! I’d say maddenwizkid isn’t out of his mind to think that roster could crack the bottom of the playoffs just like DAL did last year.

      • brhorer - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        00maltliquor – you may have noticed that you have gotten a lot of downvotes. That is a good sign that you don’t know what you are talking about.

        Lowry > Calderon
        Bryant < Ellis
        Young < Marion
        Randle Dalembert

        First of all, Dirk averaged 21 ponts and 6 rebounds a game, shooting 40% from 3 and 90% from FT. There is no way Randle will approach that in his rookie season. For some perspective, Aldridge averaged 9 points and 5 rebounds his rookie year. It just not realisitc to expect all-star production in year 1. And I love how your argument for Randle was that Dirk is declining. Did you know that Kobe Bryant is declining? His body is falling apart. There is no way that in 2014/2015, Kobe will outperform Monte Ellis. He will score more points per game, but he will be worse than Ellis in literally every other part of the game. Same thing with Nick Young. The only basketball skill he has is scoring. That doesn’t make you a better player than Marion, sorry. I’ll take Marion any day.

      • asimonetti88 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        Randle may some day become better than Dirk… we have no idea… he could be a huge bust, or he could be the next Tim Duncan… but even if he turns out to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, he won’t be better next year than Dirk was last year… rookies very rarely have that kind of impact. Even guys like LeBron and Lillard weren’t that great compared to veterans their rookie year, even if they were still great by rookie standards.

      • Gary - Jun 30, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        00Maltliquor stop sipping it. You didn’t even include Carter, Harris or Blair. Plus Dallas has Chandler again.
        Look at what Dallas looks like this year compared to Lakers.

        Chandler > Hill/Scare/Whoever
        Dirk> Gasol
        Ellis> Lowry
        Carter>Young
        Marion Laker Bench
        I’m not even going to compare a rookie who hasn’t proven anything yet. Heck argument should have been done there.

    • m4a188 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      Now we know why they call it La La Land.

      • getlow81 - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        Unintentional Carmelo Anthony’s wife reference?

      • uptmonsta - Jun 30, 2014 at 8:25 PM

        Ellis 20 pts per shooting 40 percent? Is greater than Kobe Bryant? Kobe can duplicate that literally with one leg. So let me get this straight, you guys are saying that the Mavs wouldn’t have been better with Kobe Bryant last year? T

      • justtoldya - Jun 30, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Kobe never averaged 40% shooting in his life, and hasn’t really played in the last 2 years. There is a better chance of Ellis doing better then love next season then randal doing better then dirk.

  2. unxpexted1 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    I’m not sure how much money Monroe and Lowry are asking for, but if somehow we could swing the both of them, that would be nice.

    Lowry
    Bryant
    Xavier Henry/Bazemore
    Randle
    Monroe

    Young, Marshall, Hill, and meeks off the bench.

    Not the worse thing in the world.

    • unxpexted1 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      and still young enough to have some future with lowry and monroe, as kobe ages out.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      Randle and Monroe look NOICE together on paper, but in reality the defense coming from our top bigs would be a sad thing to watch. You really don’t want your bigs -both of them especially- to be defensive liabilities. We’re trying to eventually build a championship team, not just a team that’ll look good until the 2nd round.

  3. raygutierrez2000 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    The only solution for The Lakers is to dump Kobe and re-build.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      True, especially with his contract, but never going to happen.

    • mogogo1 - Jun 30, 2014 at 7:00 PM

      That was clear BEFORE they gave him the huge contract. But that ship has sailed now.

    • meast2144 - Jun 30, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      you’re an idiot

  4. beach305 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Lakers fans have forgotten about the years between Riley and Jackson. I see more of the same.

  5. sparty0n - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Lakers can have Josh Smith for a cup of Gatoraide, but we are keeping Monroe!

    • kinggw - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:59 AM

      Josh Smith is a convenient scapegoat, but the Pistons’ problems run much deeper than Smith. There is talent on that team, but it doesn’t seem to fit together.

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        is it really a scapegoat when he really is that terrible?

  6. upperdecker19 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    Maybe the ghost of Patches O’Houlihan can be hired to coach this mess to the playoffs too???

  7. jucam1 - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:58 AM

    I know there is a ton of pressure to be good for the Lakers, but they have to rebuild, they can’t possibly think that Kobe and these suggestions will do anything other than get destroyed by the good teams in the West. Look Kobe took the most insane contract in NBA history, and maybe he deserved some of that for what he’s meant to the Lakers, but you can’t delay a rebuild because he would be unhappy if they don’t go out and get the poo poo platter of mid level players for him to make another run that has no shot.

  8. chiadam - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Because why tank and get a lottery pick when you can overpay enough players to lose in the first round.

    • adoombray - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:16 PM

      Phoenix has the Lakers pick. THAT was a fun sign and trade

      • chiadam - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        Forgot about that. The Knicks and Lakers are going to war again! The prize: dumbest team in the NBA honors.

  9. nbarber2013 - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Don’t sleep on Ryan Kelly. The dude can shoot the ball, and I believe will provide a nice option off the bench.

    • chiadam - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      He’s probably a better option on the bench than off it for a title team, but keeping an eye out for someone named Ryan Kelly is what it’s come to for the Lakers and their fans.

  10. 00maltliquor - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Lowry would be a nice get. So would getting back Trevor, at the right price. I kind of hope this happens. Getting LeBron is far fetched to put it nicely and getting Melo sure isn’t the answer.

  11. daddyb1gdrawz - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Lakers fans blame Kobe for taking that deal. I am not sure Lowry will even take the Lakers over the Heat unless they offer him close to a max contract.

  12. billtetley53 - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:58 PM

    Lowry isnt coming to LA. Toronto has better situation than theLakers do. Isnt Monroe restricted?
    They would have to offer close to max $ to get him. Besides, as stated, evenbif they get them, that lineup isa 9 seed in the west.

    July delusions are in full swing for lakers fans, itsas sure as death and taxes. Wheres kb at? I need a laugh and his posts are usually the most delusional of all. Where ya at sausage wallet?

    • kb2408 - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      Meet me in South Central L.A. so we can settle our differences, “sausage wallet.” Lol…my best billbitely53 impersonation!!

  13. imakcds - Jun 30, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    why is Channing Fry even being considered??
    NEVER liked his game, he ain’t gonna fit in.

  14. loungefly74 - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    another frustrating year for the Lakers on the horizon…BUT i will take their track record (periods of titles and droughts) for the past 15 years over what most other teams do which is languish in mediocrity.

    Besides, we are in the thick of the “Lebron era”…this is good of a time to be out of it…(except for the Spurs)

  15. garybrian - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Why would Lowry go to the Lakers? Once Kobe gets the ball nobody sees it again.

    • kb2408 - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      Wow, how much brain matter did you waste formulating that “zinger”?! And how original! Two decades in, 5 titles, 1 MVP and universally acknowledged as a top 10-15 ever…and still getting idiotic comments like this. Smh…

  16. sportsfan18 - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Really? Strike out you say…

    But, around THIS time last yr on this site, the Laker fans on here were saying how they were going to sign a star or two, just wait for 2014 they said, cap space, Laker name, Kobe…

    I found one poster on here who actually said he could see Kobe resigning for the veteran’s minimum to like $5 million.

    Another said Kobe would do ANYTHING to get his 6th ring and he said he’d take a big pay cut to help get him that ring.

    They wanted Dwight to say and then they said they didn’t want him anyway… AFTER he left that is…

    What happened to wait for the summer of 2014 when we’ll have cap space and sign a star or two?

    The author has the title to this article right… “AFTER they STRIKE out with big names…”

    Some of us knew this last summer at this time…

    What I did not see what Dwight, Kobe, Nash and Pau having the season they did. Now that blindsided me…

    • kb2408 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      Is the NBA going out of business after next season? Are the LAKERS franchise folding after the 2014-15 season? I don’t think either situation will occur. So what, they strike out this season. The only people overreacting to all this is LAKER haters. LAKER fans have seen the team go through championship droughts before. After the Shaq/Kobe three-peat they went 7 years between titles. It happens. All I know is only one franchise has more titles than the LAKERS and since the LAKERS last title only 3 teams have won a title. Unless you’re a Spurs fan you really have nothing to say.

      • kevindoc593 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        calm down man, you’ve replied to like every comment here. just chill its a sport that you yourself isn’t even part of. Why get so hyped? you take all these comments a bit too personally. You’re in South Central LA right? sit down take a bong rip and chill it’s all going to be okay.

      • sportsfan18 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:27 PM

        kb

        Did I say the NBA was going out of business?

        Did I say the Lakers were folding their franchise?

        NO and NO.

        I said that Laker HOMERS, like you, could NOT see reality and said highly UNREALISTIC things last summer and those comments are still on the site for us all to see.

        I would have hoped that a little dose of reality would have tempered the Laker homers…

        but I see it’s called La La land for a reason…

      • billtetley53 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Laker fans haters are reacting to this because you and homers like you say stupidly delusional things and think it disappears into the ether right after you type it. Sports is right on calling you out for it.

        You kb, in particular, say some really, annoyingly stupid things. Then you cry hater when youre called out on it.

        There is a reason your fanbase is detested, and youre one of the leadinf culprits.

        Kobe has not gotten them anywhere close to a title in going on 5 years. You lakers fans shouldnt be talking either.

        Kevin, he isnt from South Central. Hes a drag queen from West Hollywood.

      • kb2408 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        @kevindoc…and, what’s your point? Right, you don’t have one. Evidently you’re new to this site. We do this all the time. It’s fun and games and a way to past the time while talking sports. Have you ever been in a barbershop or a sports bar and dudes are talking smack? We’re just doing it online. Stay in your lane, son, until you learn the ropes here on PBT!!

    • unxpexted1 - Jun 30, 2014 at 2:51 PM

      We all know its not a great deal, but its yet to be seen how bad the contract handicaps us. The way its looking, the only thing this has stopped us from doing is getting two max players. But the way its looking, their arent two max level free agents available since the big three look like they want to re-up. So essentially, Kobe’s deal has stopped us from getting melo. And even with a paycut by Kobe, Melo and pieces aren’t going to be enough for a championship in the west.

      Also, its yet to be seen if Jimmy is going to be willing to go into the luxury tax, which is still an option.

  17. skinsfanwill - Jun 30, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    If they hire Byron Scott he will find a way to piss of the ALL the of the players on that team and get nothing out of them. He is a real jerk of a coach. No player wants to play for him.

    • kb2408 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Uhhh, Kobe does.

  18. balooga999 - Jun 30, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Why is Monroe in this conversation? The guy is a restricted FA that Detroit intends to match any offers for, even a max. The only realistic way by which the Lakers could acquire Monroe would be via sign and trade, and frankly the Lakers don’t have much of anything at offer to entice the Pistons to make a deal.

    It’s a good name to have on a list of players you covet, but it’s highly unlikely to come-off.

    • mogogo1 - Jun 30, 2014 at 7:03 PM

      In that regard he fits right in with all the big name free agents who were apparently going to pay the Lakers for the right to play there. Every article about them these days includes a bunch of deals that have zero chance of ever happening.

  19. ejphenom - Jun 30, 2014 at 7:52 PM

    What kills me is how people write off the Lakers roster but they have flexibility and the market to go from the bottom to the top. Forget current roster, what city can offer a better place to market themselves? Lakers have the biggest fan base in the NBA period!

  20. uptmonsta - Jun 30, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    To All Laker Fans Posting Here: PLEASE STOP COMPARING NEXT YEAR’S TEAM TO THE DALLAS MAVERICKS. The team that squeaked into the playoffs. Is that now the Laker standard? San Antonio is who we should be looking at. Yes, they played lights out in this year’s playoffs, but they never repeat or even come close the following year. These past two years was their closest thing to pulling it off.

    OKC, Clippers and Spurs are the only teams in the West that should be clearly ahead of next year’s Lakers team if Kupchak plays his free agent cards right. And these cards should not include Bron and Melo. Instead a free agency like this would suffice and have the Lakers in the middle of the playoff pack:

    Luol Deng – 10 mil

    Avery Bradley – 5 mil

    Emeka Okafor – 1 mil

    Pau Gasol – 10 mil

    Nick Yong – 4 mil

    Deng, Okafor and Bradley brings defense and toughness. We’re not going to outgun the Clippers, Spurs and Thunder anytime soon.

    But Deng, Bradley and Okafor can bring those games down into the 90 pt area and then Kobe and Pau’s experience and Randle’s explosiveness can take over.

    • justtoldya - Jun 30, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      I don’t think you should rely on okafor nor would he be cheap.

    • meast2144 - Jun 30, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      this is the most sensible response on here

  21. maddenwizkid - Jun 30, 2014 at 10:39 PM

    All I said was a 6 or 8 seed would be a nice start to the REBUILD.
    4 outta 5 of those guys are on the roster basically
    If some of y’all could read…
    I didn’t say its the new standard(uptmonsta)
    It be nice for the young guys to get some playoff burn with the mamba befor he hangs em up
    This is not la la land like its so crazy
    Who is your team?
    Propbably been rebuilding for the last 20 years or u on the bandwagon somewhere
    Lakers for life

  22. Fantasy Football Consultant - Jun 30, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    You Lobe haters are fools. Last season he was hurt. The season before…27 per. You just love to hate, that’s all. Lakers. always have, always will.

  23. Fantasy Football Consultant - Jul 1, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    Injury bug sportsfan18. So will never know what could’ve been. You didn’t call all the injuries to the team did ya?? The Lakers have just as much an opportunity to make a great squad as any other team. The hatred here is laughable.

  24. aerorocket - Jul 1, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    First of all, don’t count on Lowry he wants a ring before his skills start declining, the Lakers are far away from getting to the Playoffs even with Kobe returning with a limited action plan for next year, so, he will go with LEBRON to get one. Second, Ariza although not consistent prior to these past Playoffs, managed to increase his stock somewhat and can be in Pat Riley’s crosshairs, even that C. Butler can fill that spot and is known to the Heat organization. Last year the Celtics were the new Bobcats, next year is Laker’s turn.

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