NBA free agency is upon us, an incredibly important time for the Los Angeles Lakers as they look to build for the remaining years of LeBron James. The Lakers have heaps of cap space and a wide-open roster heading into next season. Vocal about finding another max-contract caliber player to run alongside LeBron, the Lakers should undoubtedly be one of the most active teams in free agency.
However, outside of LeBron, they’ve struggled to bring in top caliber free agents and them striking out on the elite tier of free agents once again is a realistic possibility. Enter Orlando Magic big man Nikola Vucevic. While not as big a name as Kawhi Leonard or Kevin Durant, Vucevic fills a glaring hole for the Lakers and is sneakily underrated.
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Lakers Free Agency Target: Nikola Vucevic A Dark Horse Candidate
A behemoth seven-footer who has adapted surprisingly well to the modern NBA, Vucevic has great court vision for a big man and is capable of knocking down shots with some decent range. He has steadily improved as a three-point shooter and has the free throw percentage to indicate if he makes a major effort to improve there, he could be a deadly weapon on the perimeter.
Especially in an offense loaded with playmakers like James and Lonzo Ball, Vucevic would likely find himself the recipient of a huge number of wide open looks. More than just his ability to put the ball in the net, Vucevic is a solid rim protector and is a great screen-setter, two things the Lakers desperately need in their big man.
How Does Nikola Vucevic Fit on the Los Angeles Lakers?
In one word, perfect. While his price tag might be a bit hefty, Vucevic is a walking 20/10 with the ability to protect the rim and facilitate the basketball from the paint. Players with those sort of skillsets don’t grow on trees and despite being overlooked playing on the Orlando Magic, has the potential to be a breakout star should he make the move to a major media market.
Vucevic would be able to instantly step in help anchor the Lakers defense while bringing an entirely different dynamic to their offense. Capable of spreading the floor and drawing double teams down low, Vucevic gives the Lakers a variety of different looks to throw out at teams and is a versatile modern NBA big man.
Playing alongside LeBron James, in particular, could be a massive boost to Vucevic’s overall production. Vucevic has never played with a pick and roll maestro like LeBron (or even Lonzo) and should be a devastating weapon in the two-man game.