If the Los Angeles Lakers swing for the fences and are able to land a max-level player in NBA free agency, they’ll need to find some cost-effective options to fill out the roster. While the appeal of joining a team with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and another star in Los Angeles is surely appealing to many, the Lakers will need to play it smart.
After the dust settles and the push for top-tier free agents wraps up, there are going to be a number of quality options still available. One of which, of course, is Carmelo Anthony, who has been linked to the Lakers since the 2018-19 NBA season. But with the expected outlook for the Lakers this offseason, there’s a strong possibility that Carmelo teaming up with LeBron could become a reality.
We’re going to take a look at a few underrated players for the Lakers to target in free agency, each of which won’t break the bank.
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Lakers’ Carmelo Anthony Free Agency Fit Makes Too Much Sense
Although Anthony is 35 years old and has put together a tough stretch as of late, pairing him up with his close friend in James simply makes sense if the Lakers sign a max-level player. The money available to spend on other free agents will be limited, and I believe Carmelo would be able to provide a scoring spark off the bench in the right situation.
After seasons in which he shot just 40.4 percent in 2017-18 and 40.5 percent in 2018-19 (10 games), the comfort of joining LeBron and having three potential stars around him is bound to help. At the very least, pressure being removed from Carmelo in a situation where he’s not a primary scorer could benefit his game.
Most importantly, the Lakers would almost certainly sign him on a veteran’s minimum contract which is crucial.
Lakers Free Agency: Seth Curry a Near-Perfect Option
Although the world may still be sleeping on the “other” Curry brother, there’s a lot to love about Seth Curry’s game. After averaging 12.8 points on 48.1 percent shooting during the 2016-17 season, he suffered a stress fracture in his leg and did not play the following year. Curry proceeded to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers and play in 74 games this past year while showcasing an impressive ability to knock down shots from outside.
While the 28-year-old averaged just 18.9 minutes per game during the regular season and posted marks of 7.9 points per game, he made 45.0 percent of his shots from 3-point range. His minutes and production were a bit scattered during the Blazers’ playoff run, but he knocked down two or more shots from beyond the arc in four games, an area the Lakers will badly need to address this offseason.
The big question becomes what type of contract Curry will receive in free agency, and while he was solid with the Blazers, I do think the Lakers will be able to afford him. Signing the former Blazers guard as a key member of the second unit would be a great move by the team’s front office.
Other free agency options for Lakers: Ed Davis, Kenneth Faried, Ish Smith, Joakim Noah, Vince Carter