Wizards battling Lakers to sign a top center in free agency

The Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly targeting Jonas Valanciunas in free agency.
Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers, Jonas Valanciunas, NBA Free Agency
Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers, Jonas Valanciunas, NBA Free Agency / Rob Carr/GettyImages

The Washington Wizards don’t necessarily need to make any moves this summer, but if the right one presents itself, then they could attempt to pounce on it and add more talent to their roster.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers will be spending the summer hoping to improve their team around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They want to compete right away.

The two organizations could not be in a more different position, yet they are reportedly both targeting the same big man in free agency this summer - Jonas Valaciunas.

Wizards and Lakers seen as top free agency suitors for Jonas Valanciunas

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Wizards and Lakers are two of the top potential suitors for the Lithuanian big man as he traverses the free agency landscape.

Valanciunas has spent the past three seasons with the New Orleans Pelicans, competing for the postseason alongside Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, but it looks as though they may shake things up this summer.

With an iffy free-agency pool hitting the market, Valanciunas is one of the top center options available. Depending on team fit, Isaiah Hartenstein may be the only center available who is better than Valanciunas.

The Pelicans don’t seem inclined to keep Valanciunas around this summer, and their future with Ingram has supposedly been up in the air as of late, too.

All that being said, neither the Lakers nor the Wizards make a ton of sense for Valanciunas.

In Washington, guys like Alex Sarr, Marvin Bagley III, and Richaun Holmes will all be getting minutes at the center position, and the team is clearly rebuilding. Why would Valanciunas want to be a part of that at this stage of his career?

Sarr has indicated that he may want to play the power forward, however, so perhaps the Wizards are envisioning a world where they can run Valanciunas at the five and the rookie at the four.

In that case, Valanciunas would have to hit his threes to help space the floor for Sarr. He would also allow Sarr to play a more free-flowing, roaming style of defense, which would suit him, while he takes on the bigger matchups like Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.

Meanwhile, the Lakers have been playing Davis at the five, so why bring in another center for a bunch of money? Maybe they want to go back to double bigs?

Regardless, it seems as though Washington and Los Angeles could be two of the top teams trying to snag Valanciunas.