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#pounditFriday, March 24, 2023

Lakers reportedly interested in controversial free agent

Rob Pelinka at a press conference

Jun 6, 2022; El Segundo, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka speaks before introducing head coach Darvin Ham at UCLA Health Training Center Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers may be pulling out all the stops as they desperately try to upgrade their roster.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Friday that the Lakers are among several NBA teams who are monitoring the situation of Charlotte Hornets restricted agent forward Miles Bridges. Charania also names the Detroit Pistons as being in the mix.

Bridges’ basketball talent speaks for itself. The 24-year-old enjoyed a banner year with Charlotte in 2021-22, averaging 20.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists a game (all personal bests). But Bridges was arrested in the summer on felony domestic violence charges, resulting in him going unsigned.

Just a few weeks ago, Bridges reached a notable plea deal in the case with local prosecutors. But as a result, Bridges could still face punishment from the NBA pending a league investigation. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that Bridges remains an restricted free agent because he was tendered a one-year qualifying offer by the Hornets. While that qualifying offer has expired, Charlotte still has the right to match any outside free agent offer for Bridges.

As for the Lakers, they are a basketball catastrophe this season at 3-10 and will likely take roster improvements anywhere they can. This is not the first time in recent months that they have been linked to a controversial player.


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