The Lakers could some bench help.
In the weeks and days leading up to this season’s February 9th trade deadline, your Los Angeles Lakers have tactically reconstituted their depth surrounding oft-injured stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
But that doesn’t mean there won’t be more work to be done in the summer, or more players arriving on the market who could be a fit.
Tonight’s opposition, the 32-32 Minnesota Timberwolves, will be facing off against a 30-33 Lakers club missing several key players to injury. Minnesota also boasts several intriguing players who will reach restricted or unrestricted free agency this summer. Let’s take a look at some of the best fits for Los Angeles:
3. Jaylen Nowell
A young shooting guard with upside, Nowell is an unrestricted free agent and could help shore up LA’s perimeter depth at a bargain price. The 6’4″ wing out of the University of Washington, still just 23, is averaging a career-best 10.9 points, on .446/.293/.784 shooting splits, 2.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.6 steals a night.
2. Nickeil Alexander-Walker
The former No. 17 pick in the 2019 draft, NAW is, like Nowell, an interesting young swingman with some 3-and-D possibility. He’s a restricted free agent, however, meaning the Timberwolves would be able to match any offer tendered his way this summer, which could artificially drive up his potential asking price. LA should tread carefully here.
Alexander-Walker, still just 24, is averaging 6.0 points on .477/.410/.675 shooting splits for LA, 2.0 assists and 1.7 rebounds a night.
1. Naz Reid
Reid would essentially be a Mo Bamba replacement at backup center. Given how erratic Bamba’s opportunities have been with LA thus far, it seems entirely possible that the Lakers could be looking to make a change at the position. Reid is an unrestricted free agent and thus could prove a little costly.
The 6’9″ big man has proved to be an impressive frontcourt piece for Minnesota’s jumbo-sized big man rotation. He’s averaging 10.7 points on 53.1% shooting from the floor, 4.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.9 blocks a night, in just 18.1 minutes per.