The Los Angeles Lakers are doing work in free agency after striking out on the trade market. So far, the focus has been on bringing in young players with upside but the team has still left room for veterans. In the past, the Lakers have favored older players but that’s changing. The team was able to find a veteran with plenty of experience who is still under the age of 30.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Lakers have struck a deal with former Golden State Warriors forward Juan Tuscano-Anderson.
The 29-year-old veteran will be getting a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal, per Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
Fresh off a championship run, Toscano-Anderson will move several hours south to join the Lakers in Los Angeles. He came into the NBA as an undrafted free agent and spent the last three seasons in Golden State. The Oakland, California native has a championship pedigree and should bring some shooting to the Lakers. He only averaged 32.2% on threes last season but hit 40.2% of them the season prior. Los Angeles has to be banking on him improving.
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Toscano-Anderson Shares Agency With LeBron James
Based on free agency, the Lakers still have a strong connection to Klutch Sports, which is the agency that represents LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Notably, Toscano-Anderson is a Klutch client so he has close ties to the Lakers superstars. It’s hard to imagine that didn’t play a factor in him signing in Los Angeles.
Toscano-Anderson isn’t a huge difference maker as he only averages 4.8 points a game but he does come with championship experience. If he can reclaim his shooting ability, he’ll be a good asset for the Lakers. Toscano-Anderson does play well on the defensive end, which will help a team that struggled on that side of the court next season.
Lakers Will Look Vastly Different This Season
The Lakers haven’t added big-time scorers in free agency yet and lost Malik Monk. Barring any notable moves, the team is putting a big scoring burden on LeBron, Davis and Russell Westbrook. That could be a recipe for success but it could also be a recipe for disaster if any of those three get hurt, which is more likely than not.
However, the Lakers are poised to be much better on defense. The team is much younger and more athletic. They will be pesky on defense under new head coach Darvin Ham. Considering the team wasn’t very good on offense or defense last season, improving on one side would be a step in the right direction. There are still moves to be made but the Lakers are already a completely different team. Gone are the aging former stars and in are the emerging talents. It could also be a failure like last season but at least the team is trying something new. With salary cap space limited, there was only so much the team could do so perhaps relying on youth is the smart move.