ESPN's Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne reported today that the Los Angeles Lakers plan to "aggressively pursue" Heat center Hassan Whiteside in free agency.
The storied NBA franchise has won a total of just 65 games in the last three NBA seasons, missing the playoffs each time. But with the retirement of Kobe Bryant finally behind them, the Lakers can now focus on their next era. After selecting Brandon Ingram from Duke in the NBA Draft, the Lakers "are highly intrigued by Whiteside and what he could bring as a double-double presence inside."
Pat Riley, for his part, called re-signing the 26-year-old center his top priority this off-season. We'll have to see how much money Dwyane Wade commands from the Heat when he becomes a free agent, likely impacting Miami's ability to re-sign Whiteside and lure Kevin Durant. But with a dearth of quality big men in the league, Whiteside will have plenty of offers.
My opinion? Of course I want Whiteside to stay. Who else would give us post-game interview gold after dominant games?