West Notes: Lakers, Christian Wood, Kings, Blazers

Lakers

The Lakers continue to be linked to free agent center Christian Wood, but they could have some competition.

Per Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, the Bulls also have interest in Wood and are a “threat” to the Lakers in that area — as Chicago landed a $10.23MM disabled player exception due to the season-ending knee injury to point guard Lonzo Ball.

As Woike mentioned, the Lakers can only offer a free agent the veteran’s minimum ($2.7 million in this case). So basically, the only reason Wood would go to LA is because he wants to play for a potential contender. Or perhaps, because no one makes a better offer.

This late into free agency, the latter is indeed a possibility.

At any rate, along with the Bulls, the Heat could end up being a potential suitor. He has also been linked to the Cavaliers, as we relayed here.

Kings

GM Monte McNair indicated he is higher on the Kings’ offseason moves than perhaps some others.

“(I’m) not saying that we won’t look at upgrades (or that) we didn’t,” McNair said in an interview with Sam Amick and Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “Because we certainly explored all those options. But knowing that one of our options was going to be to bring the bulk of our team back (was appealing).”

So far this summer, the Kings drafted Colby Jones and Jalen Slawson, traded for Chris Duarte and signed Sasha Vezenkov and Nerlens Noel (full post). The Kings landed Vezenkov from the Cavaliers in exchange for the No. 49 overall pick and cash. Vezenkov was EuroLeague MVP this past season.

“A lot of people hear ‘international’ and they don’t know them, and then they come over and all of a sudden it’s (Nikola Mirotic) or it’s (Bogdan Bogdanovic and Bojan Bogdanovic) or (Nemanja Bjelica),” McNair said. “Or you can obviously go back to (former Kings Peja Stojakovic and Hedo Turkoglu). And once they’re over here, then people get excited about them. But I think people will be surprised, just because they don’t know him very well and what he can do.”

McNair remains confident that the Kings can follow-up on last year’s Pacific Division crown and playoff appearance — a first for the franchise in 17 seasons.

“One mistake you can make in this league is thinking your path will be linear,” McNair told Amick and Slater. “We know it’s not going to be a straight line where we just continue to take one step at a time. Hopefully we’re taking major steps forward. But if there’s other road blocks or adversity in the way, you have to have the ability to pivot off of that, whether it’s a better fit or talent. So for us, we feel not just set up this year, but we have plenty of room to the tax line for trades (if needed).”

Trail Blazers

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