Thanks to the salaries of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook, the Los Angeles Lakers do not have cap space this summer to utilize in free agency as they look to improve their roster. The Lakers will once again be bargain shoppers, but the good news is Hollywood has historically been able to attract veteran players willing to sign for a little less money to wear purple and gold.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley outlined a few potential free-agent targets for the Lakers including Blazers guard Kris Dunn. The former No. 5 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft has been unable to live up to the lofty expectations that come with being a high selection but could be a good rotational player for the Lakers next season.
“The biggest issue is his lack of shooting, which has manifested as a forgettable 42.0/29.9/73.9 slash line,” Buckley noted on April 21, 2022. “That could be hard to stomach given how badly the Lakers need better spacers around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
“But, to paraphrase a saying, minimum-money shoppers can’t be choosers. And if the Lakers could squeeze some spacing from their other spots, Dunn could give them a lift as a willing and able defender who can make things happen off the dribble and feed open teammates.”
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Dunn Averaged 7.6 Points, 5.6 Assists & 1.6 Steals Last Season
Dunn has played in just 18 games over the last two seasons which means the Lakers could get a bargain on the veteran. The point guard averaged 7.6 points, 5.6 assists and 1.6 steals in 24 minutes per game during his 14 appearances last season for Portland.
Dunn finished the 2021-22 by signing multiple 10-day contracts with the Blazers. The guard has already played for four franchises during his six NBA seasons.
The Lakers are in danger of losing guard Malik Monk to a more lucrative contract offer. Los Angeles is also expected to explore trades for Russell Westbrook meaning the Lakers are likely going to be in the market to add guards this offseason.
LeBron: ‘I Can/Will NOT Miss the [Playoffs] Again’
LeBron James is not enjoying his rare absence from the NBA playoffs. James has been active on social media as the Lakers star watches all the postseason action. The NBA legend took to Twitter to promise that the Lakers will be back in the playoffs next season.
“I can/will NOT miss the post season again for my career!” James tweeted on April 22. “This s*** HURT. Ok back to watching these games.”
We already know the Lakers will have a new head coach, but it will be interesting to see how the front office will transform the roster given its current constraints.
The Lakers not only lack cap space but have few appealing tradable assets outside of James and Davis. Despite these challenges, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka believes the team has the blueprint to once again become a contender.
“They [fans] expect championship level basketball every season,” Pelinka noted during an April 11 press conference. “We know that and we want to deliver that to our fans and the work to do that for next season starts now.
“We’ve been in this place before. We know what it takes to put in the work to fix it, and that’s where our energy and time will be spent over the coming days.”