2017 Lakers Free Agency: Gauging market for cheap signings


With the whirlwind of the NBA Draft in the rear-view mirror, free agency is just days away and the Lakers have some very clear holes to address.

The team has just one point guard on the roster in newly-drafted Lonzo Ball and only has three guards in total including Jordan Clarkson and rookie Josh Hart.

The Lakers also have made it quite clear that they’re focus is to maintain cap flexibility in 2018. For this summer, that means no long-term contracts and many “prove it” one-year deals.

While the market for the latter is a bit harder to predict, the market for the former is a little more cut and dry. If/when the Lakers sign a point guard, I’d imagine it’ll be a veteran on a cheap deal to help tutor Ball.

Meanwhile, the team also needs serious help on the wings, specifically in regards to shooting. As this is being written, Brook Lopez is the team’s best outside shooter based on percentages last season. The team badly needs some wings who can knock down outside shots to space the floor.

Lets take a look at some potential targets in both categories.

Veteran PGs

Devin Harris (non-guaranteed) – The first player mentioned comes with a bit of a caveat. Harris is scheduled to make $4.4 million next season with the Mavericks, but it’s non-guaranteed. With the team drafting Dennis Smith Jr. and potentially pursuing Jrue Holiday, Harris could become a cap casualty.

If so, he could be someone the Lakers look to bring in. Harris played in 65 games last season, all off the bench. He averaged 6.7 points on 32.8 percent three-point shooting in 16.7 minutes a night.

While he will be 34 at the start of the season, he’s a point guard with experience and can play off-ball enough to warrant a one-year deal.

Raymond Felton – Coming off a minimum contract across the hallway, Raymond Felton could be looking to move on after a disappointing season with the Clippers. While his outside shooting is worrisome – 32.7 percent career three-point shooter – Felton is a do-it-all type of guard who could allow Ball to play off-ball some more.

Shelvin Mack – It’s unclear both how much money Shelvin Mack will command and whether Utah will let him go. With Dante Exum still on the roster, the Jazz may turn to him and allow Mack to walk.

Last season, Mack averaged a respectable 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 21.7 minutes per game for Utah. He’s only a career 32.1 percent three-point shooter, something that seems to be a recurring trend with these veteran guards, but is both underrated and just 26 years old.

Aaron Brooks – One of the few potential veteran guard options who can knock down a three-pointer. Of the four listed, Brooks may not be my favorite option (that goes to Mack) but he may be the option that’s the best fit. In 65 games and 13.8 minutes per night, Brooks averaged 5.0 points and 1.9 assists per night, but knocked down 37.5 percent of his threes.

In his career, Brooks is a 37 percent three-point shooter and would immediately be the team’s best shooting guard in the backcourt. He’s also a West coast native and could be looking to move closer to his home.

Wings

Jodie Meeks – A fan favorite in his time in L.A., Jodie Meeks has been plagued by injuries since leaving. Over the last three seasons since leaving Los Angeles, Meeks has played in just 99 games while making $18.8 million and has featured in just 39 games the last two seasons.

It’s entirely possibly Meeks, whose best season of his career came in L.A., looks to return to the Lakers. His 40.9 percent three-point shooting would be far and away the best on the team and, as a role player off the bench, he could revitalize his stock if he can stay healthy.

Randy Foye – Last season, Foye signed a one-year deal in Brooklyn for just $2.5 million and started 40 of the 69 games he featured in. He averaged just 5.2 points and 18.6 minutes per game in a crowded backcourt that just added another young guard.

Foye has had some down seasons recently, hitting just 33 percent of his three-pointers last season after shooting 30 percent in 2015-16. However, he’s a career 36.6 percent three-point shooter and, for his career, averages just shy of four assists per-36 minutes.

Anthony Morrow – More of a role-player option, Anthony Morrow has carved out a career as a 3 & D guy. He was apart of the trade last season that sent Cameron Payne to Chicago for Doug McDermott, but only featured in nine games. With Chicago entering a rebuild, Morrow is likely out of the Windy City.

Morrow is a 41.7 percent three-point shooter. While he hasn’t played more than 15 minutes a night since 2014-15, there are worse guys you could have on the end of your bench. Like Metta World Peace, for example.

Brandon Rush – If you’re looking for shooting guards to stretch the floor, Brandon Rush makes a whole lot of sense. He featured in just 47 games last year and has battled injuries in recent years. Only once since 2012 has Rush played in more than 50 games in a season.

But when he has played, Rush has been a lights out shooter, hitting 40.2 percent of his threes in his career. That being said, I’d be surprised if he leaves Minnesota considering they need a floor-spacer as badly as the Lakers do.

Omri Casspi – The final two names on this list come with an asterisk because it’s unsure what kind of contract they’d sign. Omri Casspi makes a ton of sense for the Lakers, but he’ll likely be in demand this summer.

Casspi played just 36 games due to injuries last year, but still shot 34.9 percent from three. Casspi is less of a shooting guard option and more of a small forward, but he still feels a need of floor-spacing.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s