The Los Angeles Lakers are quickly being dismissed as one of the NBA’s elite teams after a disappointing season. Many are suggesting that the team needs to add a third superstar to get back into title contention. However, that’s not necessarily the case.
If the Lakers can fill the roster with a number of solid role players this offseason, the team should be just fine. According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, Indiana Pacers forward Doug McDermott could put Los Angeles “over the top”:
Maintaining otherworldly efficiency in a niche role is not unprecedented. McDermott’s functionality is now a cut above limited specialist. Defenses can neither relax around him nor close out too aggressively. And he has (slightly) branched out while upkeeping his incandescence from the floor. Mikal Bridges and Michael Porter Jr. were the only other players to attempt more than 200 twos and 250 threes and match McDermott’s efficiency.
What will make McDermott most appealing to the Lakers is his 3-point shooting. He’s a career 40.7% shooter from beyond the arc. He’s also coming off of his strongest season yet. The veteran averaged a career-high 13.6 points per game. He’d be a solid player to have come off the bench.
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Reggie Bullock Could Also Help
Luckily, there should be many options for the Lakers this offseason. They could even look at a familiar face. Favale believes that adding New York Knicks forward Reggie Bullock could also be a big help to Los Angeles:
Poaching him from the Knicks won’t be easy—or necessarily possible. They only have his Early Bird rights, but they’ll be wielding, in all likelihood, league-best cap space. They can shower him with an inflated annual salary to try keeping him on a short-term deal or simply match whatever money the market is throwing at him.
Bullock was with the team back in 2019 but only played in 19 games. What would be appealing to the Lakers is that he’s a solid defender in addition to his 39.2% career 3-point shooting. He’d be a good option for the team if they’re not looking to break the bank.
Could Lakers Consider Making Only Minor Changes?
There’s merit to the idea that the Lakers need to make serious changes this offseason but it’s not the end of the world if they can’t do anything significant. The team doesn’t have much money to spend and not a lot of tradeable assets. There was a point when the Lakers were 21-6 and had the best record in the Western Conference before injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James derailed the season.
With assets limited, the Lakers could decide to keep the roster mostly the same. The key free agents to watch are Andre Drummond and Dennis Schroder. Keeping both of them won’t be cheap and would limit what they could do in free agency. Some fans might not like that idea but both guys could be impact players with a healthy LeBron and Davis on the court.