“Four Free Agents the Lakers Can Consider to Replace D’Angelo Russell After Recent Contract Rumors”…Read More.

The Los Angeles Lakers will go through an offseason of change this summer. They will have a new head coach and will have plenty of new faces following the expected departures from their roster. One of the names that will likely go elsewhere is D’Angelo Russell.

The latest reporting suggests that Russell will decline his player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the All-Star guard can’t stay in Los Angeles. The Lakers can still sign Russell to a long-term deal. However, after seeing his shortcomings in the playoffs, it doesn’t make much sense for them to retain him and run it back with the same team.

Instead, the Lakers need to find better fits on the free-agent market. Their primary need is obviously shooting, especially with Russell’s departure.

It’s not easy to find players who can shoot and defend reliably at the same time. Those players are extremely valuable in the league, but there may be some options for the Lakers this summer.

One of the issues for the Lakers is that they have very limited cap space, even with Russell leaving. They can create more if needed, by moving on from Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, and Jarred Vanderbilt, or using them in a sign-and-trade.

But, unless LeBron James re-signs with the Lakers for a shockingly small salary, the Lakers will likely not have more than the taxpayer mid-level exception to work with this summer. Let’s take a look at who they can target.

1. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

This would be the return of KCP to Los Angeles and it will likely require a sign-and-trade or clearing more cap space on the Lakers’ part. It may be hard to pull off for the front office but Caldwell-Pope needs to be on the top of the list for the Lakers this summer.

Caldwell-Pope is the exact type of player the Lakers are looking for. It is extremely frustrating that the Lakers already had him on a team-friendly contract, but general manager Rob Pelinka decided to include him in the Russell Westbrook trade. It’s undeniable that the Lakers would have looked completely different and much better if they still had KCP.

The 31-year-old shooting guard is the prototypical 3-and-D player. He can guard multiple positions, hits 40% from three, and has no weaknesses in his game. He may not bring the shot creation D’Angelo Russell does, but he is a much more valuable player for a contender.

Related posts

Leave a Comment