Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Pursuit of Kevin Durant, Hassan Whiteside and More

The Los Angeles Lakers have built themselves a nice young core for the future, but they will need some proven players in order to take the next step back toward contention.

While this team obviously has a long way to go before it can start thinking about championships, especially after winning just 17 games this past season, one smart free-agent signing could expedite the turnaround. Additionally, it won't hurt to add a high-profile star to keep fans after Kobe Bryant's retirement.

The front office will probably keep its eyes open for any top player willing to come to Los Angeles, but it won't be easy luring the biggest stars to town. Here is the latest on some of the top names set to become free agents on Friday.


Kevin Durant

Just about everyone in the NBA wants Kevin Durant, but the problem is he can only go to one team. Even worse news is the former MVP has already narrowed down his choices while setting meetings with his finalists.

Sam Amick of USA Today reported Tuesday that Durant's team has already set meetings with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat to go with his own Oklahoma City Thunder. Amick also implied the Lakers can kiss any thought of signing the forward goodbye:

Those meetings will matter – the key word there being 'meetings.' If your team doesn’t have one by now, you shouldn’t be feeling too confident about your place in the Durant race.

Despite years of speculation about Durant possibly signing with his hometown Washington Wizards or the Los Angeles Lakers, a person with knowledge of his situation told USA TODAY Sports that those two teams are not expected to land a meeting with the former MVP.

Getting the 27-year-old Durant to come to the Lakers was always going to be a bit of a hard sell. All the teams listed are l...

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