The Lakers are making shrewd moves this offseason after signing Dennis Schroder, Wesley Matthews, and Montrezl Harrell to join LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers want to repeat for their second straight NBA title and by the looks of things, they are right on track. But they shouldn't be done yet, as there are 3 more players that can add to their roster to almost ascertain their Finals appearance in 2021.
Even with all the smart moves they made, the Lakers have made so far, they have cap space to sign another quality starting-caliber player and also sign a mid-level player. They have just recently re-signed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to a 3-year, $40 million contract so the Lakers are going all in to make sure they sign all the right players. Here are 3 players the Lakers can acquire right now.
5. Aron Baynes
2019-2020 Statistics: 11.5 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, 0.2 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Baynes won't be a starter for the Lakers, but he will be a productive big man who can replace what Dwight Howard brought to the team although he possesses a nice outside jumper. Baynes has had a solid career as a role player and that won't change as he looks to join a contender next season. Baynes plays hard and is a tough physical center who can handle crashing the boards and playing defense.
Baynes shot 35.1% from three last season as well, making him somewhat of a threat from the perimeter. In spurts of 20-25 minutes a game, Baynes can be a useful addition to a Lakers roster that would love more size alongside Anthony Davis.
4. Marc Gasol
2019-2020 Statistics: 7.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.3 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Marc Gasol's numbers are down, but his impact goes way beyond stat lines. Gasol is one of the most productive centers in the NBA even though he has passed the phase of putting up All-Star numbers and being one of the best centers in the NBA. What Gasol brings is a championship level mindset and experience that cannot be taught. He earned it with his play with Toronto and is one of the smartest players in the NBA.
Gasol can pass very well, shoot the three, defend the paint, and play exceptional defense for any team wanting to compete for a title. For a title contender like the Lakers, Gasol brings the type of championship pedigree needed to win at all costs. Gasol will likely back up Anthony Davis and Montrezl Harrell as a big man who can play 25 minutes a game at a very high level.
3. Nicolas Batum
2019-2020 Statistics: 3.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.0 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG
Batum's numbers look terrible because he only played 22 total games with a Charlotte Hornets squad that are way beyond using his services. Batum was waived by the Hornets meaning he is available to be signed up by any title contender. Batum is only 2 years removed from averaging 11.6 PPG and 5.5 APG as a 2-way wing, so he can bring veteran experience and an all-around skill set for the Lakers.
Los Angeles need as many backup wing players as they can get because LeBron James needs to play a bit-part role for the majority of the regular season. The man is tired after 17 long seasons and he will need to be preserved for the postseason, making the signing of Batum for a mid-level or veterans minimum contract a good one.
2. Hassan Whiteside
2019-2020 Statistics: 15.5 PPG, 13.5 RPG, 1.2 APG, 0.4 SPG, 2.9 BPG,
Hassan Whiteside's numbers jump out of the page as a backup center. Despite his inconsistent performances, he can be an absolute beast for the Lakers. Just like what Dwight Howard did as a starter or a backup center, Whiteside can bring size and shot-blocking in the interior at the very least. Whiteside won't ever make another All-Star team, but his presence alongside Anthony Davis or Montrezl Harrell will be a nightmare for opponents.
Whiteside is one of the hottest free agents remaining on the market who can rebound at a very high level. If he can accept a mid-level deal from the Lakers, it would be an absolute bargain to bring Whiteside's double-double skills to the roster.
1. Bogdan Bogdanovic
2019-2020 Statistics: 15.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 0.2 BPG
Bogdan Bogdanovic is a player on the radar of some of the top teams in the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks went through tooth and nail to get a deal done for Bogdanovic, but unfortunately for them, tampering rules prevented them from closing the deal. This means that the Bucks, arguably the most talented team in the East, will not have a key piece during their title run. However, the Lakers can make a very shrewd move by trading the recently acquired Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
Bogdanovic averaged 15.1 PPG this season on 36.3% shooting from three. Bogdan has a natural stroke from deep, making him a player that teams are drooling over. Bogdanovic is a tough player who offers an excellent skillset and two-way play that will almost certainly translate to a Lakers Finals appearance. If the Lakers and Kings agree to a sign and trade deal around KCP, this move can happen.