Analyst Pegs Ex-LeBron James Teammate as Perfect Free Agent Fit for Lakers

rob pelinka

Getty Rob Pelinka of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Though there is still a season to be played, the Los Angeles Lakers are probably are already thinking about free agency. It’s not a mind-blowing group of players slated to be free agents this offseason, but the team still needs to do what they can to keep themselves in title contention. Unfortunately, the best free agent this offseason is Anthony Davis, who is currently a member of the Lakers.

Obviously, the biggest point of emphasis this offseason is locking him up for as long as they can. After that, they can focus on adding some more talent. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, there’s one player who would be a perfect fit for the team:

If there’s an area of improvement for the Lakers this offseason, it’s shooting.

Despite holding down the No. 1 seed in the West, the Lakers are just 17th in three-point percentage (35.5 percent) and 22nd in makes per game (11.2).

Of the 10 most frequent three-point shooters on the Lakers roster, only one is making over 38.0 percent of his attempts: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at 39.4 percent. For a team with a passer like LeBron James, there needs to be more quality shooting on the perimeter.

Enter Joe Harris, a former teammate of James with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 28-year-old swingman led the NBA in three-point shooting last season (47.4 percent) and is averaging 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists while knocking down 41.2 percent of his threes this year.

The Brooklyn Nets are quickly laying claim to one of the most expensive rosters in the NBA. They already have over $141 million in committed salary next season without factoring in a new contract for Harris. As such, they may be forced to let him walk.

Harris would be a great fit between James at point guard and Anthony Davis at power forward, moving off the ball and keeping the floor spaced for both superstars.

Harris isn’t a superstar but he’s a good role player and has a rapport with LeBron James. He also probably wouldn’t be very expensive and the Lakers won’t have a ton of cap space if they sign Davis. Harris would be a really solid fit with this current squad.

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There’s been a lot of talk all season about what Davis might end up doing with his contract but thinks have gone cold over the last few weeks. With the NBA returning and a lot of things up in the air right now, it makes sense why the superstar big man might want to be patient.

The most recent chatter was that an agent told John Hollinger of The Athletic that it would make sense for Davis to just sign a one-year deal.

“It’s just too much unknown,” the agent said. “… It probably makes sense for everybody to sign a one-year deal. Even the big free agents—like Anthony Davis—sign a one-year deal [this summer] and see what the numbers are for ’21 and sign a contract based off the projections for that.”

If that ends up being the case, the Lakers will have sweat about the Davis contract situation for another year, but at least he wouldn’t be a one and done. There’s been no indication that Davis is willing to take a long-term deal. It appears he’d prefer to keep his deals short so he could have added flexibility in the future.

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