Top Free Agent Targets: Los Angeles Lakers
Max Cap Space: $32,149,063
Projected Cap Space:$32,149,063
The Lakers’ goal was always to go all-in for free agents in the summer of 2019, and after weeks of seeing their financial flexibility fall under scrutiny, it looks like the Lakers may be able to make a big splash when free-agency starts.
After gutting almost the entire roster, and seeing Anthony Davis waive his $4 million trade kicker, the Lakers are left with LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, and a max slot in their salary cap. While they could use the money to acquire a multitude of quality rotation players, I’m here to say that they should go big. One of these three will do:
The reigning Finals-MVP could join James and Davis to create arguably the greatest big three of all-time. Offensively, the combination of these three would be a nightmare for any defense. But also defensively, this team could be very hard to score against. Leonard would have the perimeter on lock, and Davis would dismantle pick-and-rolls before they bloom, as well as protect the paint. And after James eventually fades into the sunset in the coming years, the Los Angeles Lakers will belong to Leonard and Davis to keep the good times rolling.
The Lakers needed scoring badly when James sat, as does any team that relies heavily on James. Brandon Ingram and Kuzma were inconsistent for much of the year when James was on the bench. Butler would be that second wing scorer that could provide an offensive punch both with and without James on the floor. And then there’s the defensive intensity and the demonstrative desire to win that Butler brings that could benefit the Lakers should their roster be filled with strong-willed veterans.
Speaking of point guards, the Lakers should seriously look at bringing Russell back. He’ll bring All-Star talent to the position, and his max won’t cost as much as the guys mentioned above. If the Lakers can get Russell without eating up all their cap space, they could use the surplus on a quality rotation player.