Los Angeles Lakers Free-Agency Talk: Recapping All the Latest Chatter

I'm here to catch you up on all of the Los Angeles Lakers' free-agency rumors because if you're not careful, all you hear is Dwight Howard this, Dwight Howard that.

Free agency opened July 1, and plenty of teams have already taken advantage of the available talent pool (shout out to Andre Iguodala for joining the "Splash Brothers" in Golden State, making the Warriors my favorite backcourt in the NBA). However, basketball fans like myself have been waiting all week to see where the fickle 6'11" center will splash next.

It's been an incredibly frustrating waiting period, as only the sources closest to Dwight know what he will choose and they're all holed up together somewhere in Colorado. But listen to me complain. The Los Angeles Lakers have been pitching their message to the big man for quite some time now, vesting their interest in Howard since GM Mitch Kupchak traded for him last summer. 

Before I plunge into my views on Howard and his decision, which have me all riled up these days, let's examine what side options the Lakers have been pursuing since the NBA Finals ended in another Miami Heat victory. 

To be completely honest, whether Dwight picks L.A. or not doesn't change the terrible financial situation the Lakers are in under the new collective bargaining agreement. Kobe Bryant's $30 million dollar contract—along with Pau Gasol's $19 million, Steve Nash's $9.3 million and Metta World Peace's $7.7 million—have left the management with little room to negotiate this year. 

None of the big-name free agents on the market this year can be signed with the bankroll the Lakers have to offer. However, the front office still has significant holes to fill around the perimeter. The Lakers need both shooting help and athleticism, which was particularly nonexistent on the defensive end. 

In order to stop some of the backcourt bleeding, Jabari Davis of Hoop...

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