The Lakers have had an amazing season this year, currently first in the West with a 49-14 record which is good for second in the league. Led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers look primed for an NBA Finals berth.
But with the season currently in shambles due to the spreading Covid-19 virus, many are left wondering if this season will be completed at all. Nonetheless, the Lakers organization will be looking ahead to next season whether the season continues or not. There are some very productive players that could be available, and available immediately for the Lakers to sign next season. Even though the Lakers have a very strong team, they are lacking depth in comparison to their rivals; the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Lakers will be entering next season with an older LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Javale McGee, Danny Green, and Rajon Rondo. Clearly, they will need an injection of talent to keep them afloat in the Wild West.
Here are the best Lakers targets that should sign next year.
Career Averages: 23.6 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.9 APG
Why not? Melo would love the opportunity to compete for a title and provide bench scoring for a team that lacks any productivity when LeBron James gets breathers on the bench. Not to mention, Melo will finally put to rest the noise that he never even came close to an NBA championship before.
Carmelo Anthony is having a strong year with the Blazers by putting up 15.2 PPG and 6.3 RPG, but the team has been a wreck this year and seem like they will be missing the playoffs.
Melo with LeBron will finally fulfill half a banana boat crew, and this reunion could actually be enough for the Lakers to win a title next year.
Career Averages: 14.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.3 APG
Milsap is a free agent next year, and it is unlikely that the Denver Nuggets will be paying anywhere close to a max contract to a player who is nearing the end of his career. Still, Milsap is a very productive player and can provide veteran leadership, rebounding, and inside scoring for the Lakers. Milsap is averaging 12.0 PPG and 5.9 RPG in a more limited role than he has been used to in the past.
Milsap will also be hungry to win a title with the Lakers, and this addition would give Lakers more size and depth inside. Paul is a decent three-point shooter for a big man, shooting 44 % this year, so he can space the floor too.
Career Averages: 9.4 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 0.7 BPG
Reuniting LeBron with TT would be very fun to watch. It is clear that LeBron has a liking for Thompson, as his hustle and rebounding is one of the key reasons the Cavaliers won the NBA title in 2016. James is also mainly responsible for giving Thompson the max contract he got from the Cavs, by basically making it clear to the front office that his services are extremely valuable.
It is clear LeBron will find Thompson's rebounding useful again, and this reunion would give the Lakers the scariest frontcourt depth in the league without question. Thompson is having another solid year by averaging 12.0 PPG and 10.1 RPG for the struggling Cavaliers.
Career Averages: 14.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.6 APG
Another former LeBron teammate, Clarkson was very effective for the Cavaliers when they acquired him from the Lakers. If the tables do switch, and Clarkson joins LeBron with the team that originally drafted him, this would be a great signing for the team.
Clarkson is having a tremendous impact with the Jazz, Clarkson is averaging 15.6 PPG since he arrived in Utah. Next season, he might be willing to join arguably the begs team in the West, to reunite with LeBron James in sunny Los Angeles, California.
Clarkson's shooting and scoring is something that the Lakers will truly value since they have been on the lookout for a guard all season long. Rondo seems to be on his last legs and no one else can contribute at the guard position when LeBron doesn't have the ball.
Career Averages: 11.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.0 BPG
Finally, Favors has been a very productive player throughout his career. His career averages are solid, and he gives inside strength and scoring to any team that needs it. Favors doesn't seem to be blossoming in New Orleans per se, and it is clear that they want to clear tons of paint presence so their superstar Zion Williamson can prosper. This makes sense, as Zion's potential is at a much higher level than Favors at this moment.
Derrick Favors is a veteran player who clearly has the talent to offer a championship team. Joining the Lakers would give him the best teammates he has ever had, and he might finally be able to be a productive player for a title contender. In just 24 minutes per game, Favors is putting up 9.2 PPG and 9.9 RPG.