The season just ended for the Los Angeles Lakers but there’s already been plenty of speculation on what the team might do so they don’t get knocked out of the playoffs early again. An issue they definitely need to address is shooting. The team was inconsistent from beyond the arc all season and only got worse in the playoffs.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the Lakers’ two best players but neither are particularly great 3-point shooters. The team would be wise to find an elite shooter to help mask their deficiencies. Dan Favale of Bleacher Report is confident that Boston Celtics free agent Evan Fournier is exactly what the Lakers need, but things could get complicated:
Boston helps the cause if it wants Schroder in a double sign-and-trade. That’s not likely. The Lakers instead need to hope the Celtics would take one or two of their mid-sized salaries (Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) and this year’s No. 22 pick as compensation.
Is Fournier worth that plus Los Angeles letting at least one of its other main free agents walk? Given how desperately they need three-point shooting and someone else comfortable putting the ball on the floor, um, yes.
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Is Fournier Worth Going All out For?
Fournier isn’t a huge name as he’s spent most of his career with the Orlando Magic. He had a chance to play for a more popular franchise when the Celtics traded for him at the deadline. He went from averaging 19.7 points a game to 13.0 after the trade. It’s easy to put up big numbers when you’re on a team without many stars. It’s fair to question if Fournier would be as productive playing behind Davis and LeBron.
However, he did make 46.3% of his 3-point attempts in Boston, so he can still shoot the lights out of the gym. Going after Fournier would be a no-brainer if the Lakers didn’t need to move so many pieces around. Swapping Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for Fournier in a sign-and-trade could be a smart move but that might not be enough. He’s a solid player but Los Angeles won’t give up too many pieces for him.
Lakers Could Target Cheaper Options
It’s inevitable that the Lakers get linked to many big names throughout the offseason. Unfortunately, the reality is that they don’t have the money or the assets to acquire a star. Vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka can always get creative but it won’t be easy. Based on the salary cap situation, the Lakers’ roster could look relatively similar to the way it did heading into this season.
J.J. Reddick could be a solid addition. He’s one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA and shouldn’t cost much more than a contract in the $10 million a year range. Otto Porter Jr. would be another really good option for them. He’s a knockdown shooter and underrated defender. He could be more expensive than Reddick, but shouldn’t make nearly as much as the $28 million he made last season.