Lakers Rumors: Al Horford Will Be Target in Free Agency

The Lakers are rumored to be among the teams that will make a run at big man Al Horford in NBA free agency in the summer

With the salary cap jumping to a reported $94 million for the 2016-17 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers are in a phenomenal position to take strides forward this offseason. They’re set to have just shy of $70 million in cap room to operate with in free agency in addition to owning the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. However, the burning question for the Lakers is what they’ll choose to with their money in free agency.

Though the dominoes of the draft have yet to fall, another name has surfaced as a possible Lakers target this offseason: Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford.

According to a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Lakers are among three teams around the league that are gearing up to make a heavy run at Horford in free agency this offseason:

If the Lakers are wanting to bring in a quality veteran player at a position of need, then pursuing a guy like Horford in free agency is 100 percent logical. 

Horford has long been one of the best and most underrated two-way player in the league, even in the past two seasons coming off a torn pectoral in the 2013-14 season. Over the last two years, Horford has averaged 17.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 1.6 blocks per 36 minutes while shooting a solid 52.1 percent from the floor.

Moreover, Horford also ranked 17th in the NBA in terms of win shares, coming in ahead of Paul George, Damian Lillard, and Jimmy Butler in that regard.

As there is with everything, there is a clear downside when it comes to Horford. Despite how perfectly his unselfish and hard-working two-way game would be in Luke Walton‘s system as an anchor for the Lakers young core, the big man is 30 years old. Given that the Lakers would have to give him a max contract to sign him, locking him up until his mid-30s has to be at least slightly unnerving.

Even so, Horford has long been an intriguing player and one that makes sense for the Lakers in terms of the types of players they should pursue this offseason. Subsequently, it’s nothing but refreshing to hear that they’re actually going to do so.

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