The Los Angeles Lakers just won the NBA championship against the Miami Heat but the purple and gold aren’t stopping there; they want more and they’re looking for more. The front office has work to do after a great season that saw them lift the Larry O’Brien trophy after putting together the right pieces for LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Now they need to do that again and their plans look very promising.
Some players will hit free agency this year to see if they can get a good contract elsewhere leaving the players with only seven players (until Anthony Davis signs his extension). They have spots to fill and the management has reportedly set its sight on some players to complete their roster to try to win back-to-back titles like Kobe Bryant did in 2009 and 2010. Frank Urbina and Alberto de Roa of HoopsHype listed off the best options for the Lakers this offseason.
At the point guard position, we find Austin Rivers, DJ Augustin, Jeff Teague and Goran Dragic (one of the figures of the Miami Heat last season).
If the Lakers do commit to using their MLE, that would make Dragic, who they just faced in the Finals with the Miami Heat, a semi-realistic target. We say semi because odds are, Dragic will re-sign with the Heat without much drama this offseason after the strong campaign the two sides just experienced together.
But if for whatever reason, things don’t work out between Miami and Dragic in free-agent discussions, L.A. swooping in with an offer wouldn’t be totally shocking.
They have some interesting options with wing players, including Justin Holiday and Alec Burks. However, the top targets for the Lakers would be Jordan Clarkson and Jae Crowder, another player they faced in the Finals.
A reunion between Clarkson and LeBron would be interesting, especially since Clarkson has improved since his days with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Clarkson could give L.A. a stronger scoring punch off the bench.
The Lakers just faced Crowder in the Finals and although he didn’t have his best series, the two-way wing did have a strong postseason overall with Miami, making him an interesting target.
When we talk about centers, the Lakers have the best options. Any of the players on this list would be great for the team. They can lose both JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard this offseason and Urbina and Roa listed four centers that could be well-received in LA. Hassan Whiteside and Tristan Thompson top the list but Derrick Favors and Aaron Baynes could be great additions to the Californians, too.
The top realistic option on the board will likely be Whiteside, whose next contract probably won’t be anywhere as rich as his last one was, so he should be within L.A.’s price range. Off the bench or in a 20-minute-per-game role as a starter, Whiteside could be an effective piece for the Lakers thanks to his rebounding and shot-blocking.
They also need some experience to mentor their young players and the veterans presented by Urbina and Roa have a lot to teach to the young assets.
Anthony has been a rumored potential L.A. target since James arrived there, and considering he just posted a season where he averaged 15.4 points and shot 38.5 percent from three, there’s a chance the Lakers could actually be interested in uniting the two good friends on the same team for the first time.
There’s also Korver who will be available, and though he’s said to be mulling retirement, the 39-year-old just shot 41.8 percent from three in 2019-20, so clearly, he can still contribute.
Green just had one of his better postseason showings averaging 11.6 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 42.6 percent from three over 12 games. His athleticism, versatility on both ends of the floor and scoring off the bench would be a good addition for any team, including the Lakers.
While the Lakers will likely make every effort to bring back as much of their 2019-20 group as they can, there are some interesting options in free agency out there for them who they might be able to entice with their MLE and the chance to play with James and Davis.
This is a very intriguing and interesting situation for the Lakers. They can take the most advantage of it and create a team even better than the one just won the NBA title. Of course, everything looks good on paper, but if they can land three or four players on this list, the Lakers will improve their bid to defend their championship.