The Los Angeles Lakers are heading toward a highly important offseason with a chance to construct another championship contender. The rumor mill has already begun to swirl around potential targets to aid those roster-building efforts. The chatter has taken another interesting turn with Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray messing with the Lakers fan base’s hearts.
Lakers suffer an early playoff exit
The Lakers entered the 2020-21 season, hoping to contend for a second straight NBA title.
However, Los Angeles struggled to navigate through the campaign dealing with significant injuries. Anthony Davis missed two months due to an Achilles-related calf issue, while LeBron James sat out six weeks because of a high ankle sprain.
All that, coupled with inconsistent play from the supporting cast, led the Lakers to a first-round playoff exit. With that in mind, another NBA star is now toying with the fan base’s emotions.
Jamal Murray purposefully is pulling heartstrings of Lakers’ fans with his latest social media decision
The Lakers’ early playoff exit has quickly sparked the rumor mill around potential offseason targets to pair alongside James and Davis.
Another All-Star talent has quickly thrust his way into the conversation as Nuggets guard Jamal Murray recently made an interesting move on social media. The 24-year-old chose to like a tweet from a fan that stated, “soon you’ll embrace the moment when u join the Lakers this summer.”
Before these actions, there hadn’t been any chatter concerning Murray holding an unstable status in Denver. He’s coming off a season prematurely ended due to a torn ACL, but he’s cemented his place as a franchise cornerstone. Murray also wrapped up the first year of his five-year, $158.2 million deal that runs through the 2024-25 campaign.
However, the Lakers could certainly make a strong run toward acquiring him this offseason. Still, it’s hard to imagine the Nuggets being willing to move him even after suffering a torn ACL. He holds a bright future ahead as he and reigning league MVP Nikola Jokic have become centerpieces to the franchise’s success.
Murray is one of the game’s top young guards that continues to take progressive steps forward as an elite offensive talent. He’s coming off averaging a career-best 21.2 points on 47.7% shooting from the floor and 40.8% from beyond the arc.
Unless the Nuggets have a complete change of heart, it’s hard to envision any team, let alone the Lakers acquiring the star guard.
Plenty of options ahead in the upcoming offseason
Murray’s teasing of Lakers fans aside, the organization already holds tremendous pressure to build a championship roster.
James is heading into his 19th season with only two years remaining on his contract. Meanwhile, Davis is in the prime of his career, aiming to put this past year’s injury struggles behind him. Those factors alone further emphasize the golden opportunity the franchise holds ahead to compete for another NBA title.
The Lakers are expected to make some considerable roster changes that may feature the pursuit of top-tier backcourt talent. Although Damian Lillard hasn’t indicated he wants to leave the Portland Trail Blazers, he continues to be linked to Los Angeles.
On top of that, his recent social media actions and interaction with James at a Los Angeles Sparks game last week only further amp the rumor mill.
Meanwhile, recent reports suggest the Lakers may revisit attempting to acquire All-Star Kyle Lowry, likely through a sign-and-trade. The team previously failed to land him before this past season’s trade deadline due to the unwillingness to include Talen Horton-Tucker in any offer.
Spencer Dinwiddie may also emerge as a feasible option as reports stated he wants to play in his hometown of Los Angeles. Lastly, the Lakers continue to be linked to All-Star Kemba Walker despite his recent trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
All that makes it quite clear the organization will have its options to improve the roster this upcoming summer.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.