The Los Angeles Lakers have won the 2020 NBA title and made moves to ensure that they are right back in the title race for 2021. They signed Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews, Montrezl Harrell, and Marc Gasol. This type of talent along with the returning LeBron James and Anthony Davis means the Lakers have one of the best teams in the league yet again. But they should not stop there, as 3 important roster spots remain.
In order to fill out their roster with the type of depth they had last year, the Lakers need to sign at least 3 out of the top 5 free agents remaining on the market. Here are the 5 best free agents remaining for the Lakers to sign right now.
5. Dewayne Dedmon
2019-2020 Statistics: 5.8 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 0.5 APG, 0.6 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Dewayne Dedmon has always been a productive center and a role player, and that can be the case for the Lakers if they sign him. Dedmon is a capable shot blocker who can rise up for stuffs and also rebound the ball in spurts. There are very few bench players like Dedmon who can have an immediate impact in short bursts, so he is exactly what the Lakers need to provide depth for Anthony Davis and Montrezl Harrell.
Dedmon is a defensive center who doesn’t mind banging down low, so the Lakers should give him a shot for one of the reasoning spots on the roster. A big man depth chart featuring Dedmon and Marc Gasol poses a big problem for smaller teams around the league.
4. Taj Gibson
2019-2020 Statistics: 6.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.4 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Veteran Taj Gibson is one of the best role players in the NBA. Even if he doesn’t stuff the stat sheet, which he never did, his defense and toughness are invaluable. Gibson was a massive part of the Chicago Bulls playoff team led by Derrick Rose a decade ago, and he has remained consistent with his effort throughout his career. Even as a journeyman, Gibson has remained an ultimate professional.
Taj Gibson is an old-school big man because he can’t shoot the three, but he can hit the mid-range jumper and his value comes on the defensive end. Gibson will be the 4th option as a big man behind Marc Gasol and the starters, so signing a professional veteran who acts as a glue guy is the perfect choice for the Lakers.
3. Bobby Portis
2019-2020 Statistics: 10.1 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.5 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.3 BPG
LeBron James and Bobby Portis famously had a bit of a physical showdown on the court before, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a valuable piece for the Lakers. There have been countless times where LeBron’s rivals join him, as seen with Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo. Adding a big man who can stretch the floor like Portis could help the Lakers in the long run, and he is actually a talented player considering his skill set.
Portis might have a bit of an aggressive demeanor, but he can bring an edge to the Lakers team. Anthony Davis isn’t known as a bruiser, so Portis can provide toughness inside alongside Montrezl Harrell. Portis shoots a career 36.0% from three as well so he can space the floor just enough to be effective.
2. Reggie Jackson
2019-2020 Statistics: 11.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 4.1 APG, 0.4 SPG, 39.3% 3-pt FG
The Los Angeles Lakers already stole Montrezl Harrell from their rival Clippers, and they can do the same with backup point guard Reggie Jackson. Jackson is actually a talented player who can score, but he was thrust into a bad spot with the Detroit Pistons a few years ago. He wasn’t very capable as a starting point guard for a great team, and injuries have hampered his athletic abilities a little bit. Jackson can still get buckets and is a decent shooter from deep.
The Lakers signed Dennis Schroder to handle the ball to help LeBron James, but Reggie Jackson can do the same thing. Jackson is a fire starter off the bench so the Lakers can have an effective 6th man that can provide scoring, while also weakening the Clippers even more.
1. Pau Gasol
2018-2019 Statistics: 3.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Legendary Lakers big man Pau Gasol is a fan favorite in the city after he helped Kobe Bryant deliver two straight NBA titles for the Purple and Gold. Gasol isn’t the same player he was in 2010, but he can still be a valuable locker room presence next to his brother Marc Gasol. The Gasol brothers are the greatest sibling players in NBA history, so this would be some big news in that regard.
Pau Gasol won’t play much, if at all, during most of the season although he can contribute in terms of size and basketball I.Q. The best thing the Lakers can do now is add a veteran, and a fan-favorite like Pau Gasol would be a massive chemistry booster for the team and the franchise.