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Lakers Remain 'Option' For Wade Amid Ongoing Contract Dispute With Heat

LOS ANGELES ( — For Lakers fans yearning for a return to the franchise's winning ways, it could be an on-court pairing that's better late than never.

There is reportedly "mutual interest" between the Lakers and Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade joining Kobe Bryant as the 11-time All-Star remains bogged down in heated contract talks with the Heat, according to a Sports Illustrated (SI) report.

Citing "league sources", SI writer Chris Mannix said on Twitter that while most NBA execs still Wade will ultimately stay with Miami, the Lakers are still an "option".

After suffering through a dismal 2014-15 season in which the Lakers lost a franchise-worst 61 games, Wade may provide an attractive, short-term option for the team as it looks to get back to being competitive while also keeping cash freed up for their two young stars, Julius Randle and either Ka'Vonne Towns or Jahlil Okafor, whichever they end up selecting in Thursday's NBA draft.

That duo along with young up-and-coming guard Jordan Clarkson paired with Bryant and Wade could help propel the Lakers back into the postseason hunt.

It's unclear how all this will play out, but one thing is certain: Kobe and Wade would be a combined 69 years old if they took the floor together, meaning any potential window to win a championship would likely be very small, according to CBS Sports.

In an interview done in February, Bryant told reporters he expects to be ready for the 2015-16 NBA season after undergoing surgery in January to repair a torn right rotator cuff.

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