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Kobe Bryant, Jeanie Buss will be in Lakers pitch meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge


The Lakers are bringing out the big guns — and we don’t just mean the effort to clear out a cap space and go after a couple max contract stars.

The Lakers are bringing their biggest names into the room for their meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge just after free agency starts — including Kobe Bryant. From Sam Amick of the USA Today.

According to a person with knowledge of the Lakers’ situation, Bryant is expected to be part of the meeting with Aldridge on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. The meeting with the big man who is widely expected not to re-sign with the Portland Trail Blazers is also expected to include Lakers president and governor Jeanie Buss, general manager Mitch Kupchak, assistant general manager Glenn Carraro, coach Byron Scott, senior vice president of finance Tim Harris, vice president of public relations John Black, as well as representatives from Time Warner Cable and AEG.

Lakers fans, before you celebrate this, remember Kobe was in the room before. His saying he was staying a few more years and his presence seemed to derail an already fragile meeting with Dwight Howard two years ago. Last year Kobe was not in the room, but then he and Carmelo Anthony spoke later and both questioned if their games would would really blend well. (They were right by the way, that would have been a ball-stopping mess.) His presence in the room is no guarantee — not everybody loves him.

But Kobe is being active in free agency this year, he has already called DeAndre Jordan to lobby him.

The Lakers are one of the front runners for Aldridge and could land other top free agents, and they have a reputation for making good pitches. But there is nothing quite as random and unpredictable as NBA free agency.

Reports: Warriors, Hornets both interested in Marco Belinelli


Marco Belinelli was a vintage San Antonio Spurs pick up — a guy with one elite skill, so the Spurs asked him to do basically that and nothing else. Just shoot the rock, Marco. He did that well  — 71 percent of his shots last season came from 16 feet out or farther, and he shot 37.4 percent from three. It was 43 percent from deep the year before that.

However, the Spurs are moving on (they have some cap space to clear out if they are going to chase LaMarcus Aldridge). With a lot of shooters on the market this year, Belinelli may come with a very reasonable deal.

What teams are lined up to try and land Belinelli? One team that loves shooters and one that needs some.

First up, the Golden State Warriors (via Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports).

Golden State loves them some shooters and Warriors GM Bob Myers would be happy to add another guy who has knocked down threes on a big stage.

In the other side, Charlotte needs shooters, and they want some.

Belinelli is not going to go off the board that quickly, teams will be hunting bigger game to open free agency. But when the dust settles you can bet it will be more than these two teams making a call on Belinelli. He will have options.

Report: Lakers working to clear out more cap space to land both LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Clippers - Game Five

UPDATE: The amazing Larry Coon ran the numbers in detail over at his CBAFAQ and came to the decision the Lakers could not get both on max contracts, not and keep Kobe (and they are not trading Kobe). Now, maybe you could get one or both to take a slight discount (a couple million) to make this work, but those guys didn’t become free agents this year to take discounts.

The other option is to land, maybe, Aldridge at the max and another top free agent just below that number — someone like Dwyane Wade or Robin Lopez, depending on what direction the Lakers want to go. Either way they are still thinking big.


These are the Lakers their fan base expects — not just thinking big, they are thinking massive.

The Lakers have the cap space to offer a max contract to someone, and they have meetings set with the biggest names looking to move — LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe, among others.

But why just settle for one? The Lakers are trying to clear out the room to get a couple, reports Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo Sports.

I have to start here: If the Lakers hadn’t offered Kobe Bryant the largest contract in the NBA — $25 million next season — and gotten him to take a little bit of a discount, this process would be a lot easier. The only guy they can try to move to really help them is Nick Young (and there’s not a great market for volume shooters).

It’s a long shot the Lakers land those two (one of Jordan’s issues is he wants more recognition and a bigger role than he’s had with the Clippers, would that happen here with Kobe Bryant, LaMarcus Aldridge and D’Angelo Russell?). All of the top players are meeting with multiple teams — Jordan and Monroe for a piece to start, Aldridge seven. Those guys will have options. But even if the Lakers strike out completely with all the big names this summer, this is the kind of news they want their fans to see — “look, we’re trying to go big here.”

More than that, the Lakers believe that after a rough couple of years, they are primed to return to the NBA’s elite. Look at what Jeanie Buss — the Buss child with the most power in their complex family control of the team — told Sam Amick of the USA Today.

“We’ve got everything that should allow us to be competitive. Now does that mean that it’s that easy just to snap your fingers and win a championship? I know a lot goes into it, and it’s hard to win a championship. Only one team gets to do that every year, but there’s no reason why we can’t be one of those teams that’s talked about and that people look forward to seeing how they’re going to do in the regular season and in the playoffs. And that’s important that every employee, not just our basketball front office, knows that they’re being held to a standard to deliver on their job.”

Even with the restrictions of the new CBA, the Lakers and the city of Los Angeles are a big draw to free agents. Maybe not the draw they were 15 years ago, but they are a draw. The Lakers are in the mix for the best on the board — and they are being understandably greedy and going after as much of that talent as they can get.

It’s the Lakers being the Lakers again.