The Lakers' presentation to LaMarcus Aldridge -- the most coveted free agent in the NBA -- sounds like a disaster

Kobe bryantScott Halleran/GettyKobe Bryant reportedly didn’t help the Lakers’ pitch.

The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly out of the running for free agent big man LaMarcus Aldridge.

The Lakers had a meeting with Aldridge early in the NBA’s free agency period, and though initial reports said it went “really well,”¬†information about the meeting that leaked out Wednesday afternoon makes it sound like a disaster.

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday that the Lakers initially had a 50-50 shot at Aldridge, but their pitch ultimately fell flat because Aldridge wasn’t sold on how the team would get back into championship contention:

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the same thing:

The Lakers, who tend to be averse to advanced analytics, apparently didn’t wow Aldridge:

Worsening the matter, Kobe Bryant, who has a reputation for dissuading free agents from joining the Lakers, apparently didn’t help sell Aldridge on the team:

This is basically 36-year-old Bryant, coming off a knee injury, torn Achilles, and shoulder surgery in the last three years, telling one of the best scoring big men in the NBA that he can operate in limited space and play second-fiddle to Bryant. The Lakers don’t win their most recent two titles without Gasol, but at the time, Bryant was still a dominant player and could justify slotting Gasol behind him. Six years later, Bryant can no longer make that claim, and him shoehorning Aldridge into a second-hand role probably wasn’t appealing to Aldridge.

The Lakers had built positive momentum going into free agency, considered potential landing spots for Aldridge and Jimmy Butler. Aldridge has now moved on and Butler re-signed in Chicago.

That a the Lakers’ appeal off the court — Los Angeles can offer good weather, celebrities, and marketing opportunities — was a bigger selling point than what they can offer on the court is a bad sign for the Lakers. With several of the NBA’s biggest free agents already signed on day one of free agency, it seems the Lakers will have to begin settling for some of the lesser names on the market.

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