Nick Young says he plans to help the Los Angeles Lakers with free agency pitches this offseason, and revealed that he’s already spoken to Goran Dragic.
“I told Goran Dragic on the court, ‘You might be my teammate next year.'” Young told the L.A. News Group shortly after the Lakers’ loss on Monday to the Phoenix Suns.
“I’ll talk to Marc (Gasol). Me and him are cool. Kevin Love, I’ll talk to him.”
Dragic, Gasol, and Love are among the top players set to become free agents after this season.
The Lakers tried wooing top free agents last offseason, including LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, but weren’t able to. Instead, they re-signed Young to a four-year, $21 million deal.
“It’s tough, but I know it’s going to get better,” Young said. “This offseason is going to be big for us. It’s going to work out.”
Kobe Bryant will likely play the lead role in trying to attract free agents, but he has not yet mentioned any targets.
There has been some talk about Kobe retiring after this season, which would open up more cap space for attracting free agents. Without Bryant, the team would only have $10.1 million committed to three players–Young, Julius Randle, and Ryan Kelly.
The Lakers can also keep Tarik Black, Robert Sacre and Jordan Clarkson on non-guaranteed, minimum contracts, for another $2.7 million, noted the Los Angeles Times.
The Lakers, provided their first-round pick is in the top five, will also be drafting at least two players because they’re getting the Houston Rockets first-round pick from the Jeremy Lin trade.
With all of those players, the team would still have $48 million, if they choose not to exercise the $9 million option on Jordan Hill’s contract. They would also need to renounce the rights to their remaining free agents, such as Lin, Carlos Boozer, and Ronnie Price.
Other notable players set to become free agents this offseason include LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, DeAndre Jordan, Reggie Jackson, Tobias Harris, and Monta Ellis.