The Lakers still have around $30 million in salary cap space and could sign a max contract free agent if they so wish. Having sent three players and picks to New Orleans, though, the Lakers might be best off using that cap space on a number of players.
There’s a range of mid-tier free agents available this offseason, here are three that would fit well alongside LeBron and Davis.
Bogdanovic enjoyed a career-year in 2018/19, posting 6.8 win shares and a by far career-best 18 points per game. After Victor Oladipo’s season was ended by injury, the 30-year-old small forward took up the mantle as primary scorer for the Indiana Pacers. He passed 20 points in 32 games last season.
Shooting 4.8 threes per game, Bogdanovic hit 42.5%, which was – again – a career year. The Lakers need shooting more than anything else alongside LeBron and Davis, and Bogdanovic is one of the best on the market. He’s a decent cutter and will get plenty of open looks playing with a pair of All-NBA stars.
Bogdanovic is a more than capable defender. He reads the game much better than he used to and has the size to contest shots.
Indiana will be reluctant to let Bogdanovic go, and he might cost more than the Lakers will want to pay, but Rob Pelinka should give his agent a call.
Ross was a potential trade target for the Lakers last season. Los Angeles faded as Orlando went on a run, however, which saw the Magic snatch the eight-seed in the East and the Lakers fall into the lottery.
Enjoying career highs in scoring, rebounds, three-point percentages and free-throw attempts, Ross flourished off the bench for Orlando. He could fulfil a very similar role for the Lakers, while providing hustle on defence.
The 6’7” wing fits the profile the Lakers should have been targeting last season. Having acquired Davis on a rental, it’s vital they get this offseason spot on, and Ross would be a very good start.
The Lakers added veterans around LeBron last season, but the fits weren’t great. With Marcus Morris a free agent after a stint in Boston, it would be a surprise if Pelinka didn’t try to make a move for a player who is well-suited to a bench role in purple and gold.
Few players are tougher than Morris and his brother. Standing at 6’9”, he can play the three or the four and would be useful depth behind Kyle Kuzma, giving a crucial veteran option off the bench.
The 14th overall pick in 2011, Morris has grown into one of the NBA’s more reliable role-players and a solid defender all over the court. He shot 37.5% from three on over five attempts per game in 2018/19, making him a handy floor spacer alongside James and Davis.
Forwards will not be a priority for the Lakers with their starting frontcourt locked down. Once they look for bench options, though, Morris could be at the front of the queue.