The Lakers‘ options on the free agent market this week will likely be limited, since the team will only be able to offer the $6.5MM taxpayer mid-level exception or a minimum-salary contract to potential targets. However, as Jovan Buha of The Athletic writes, the team will still aim high, hoping to sell players on the opportunity to start and the ability to increase their stock with a strong year in Los Angeles, like Malik Monk did in 2021/22.
According to Buha, youth, length, athleticism, and shooting are among the traits the Lakers will be prioritizing. Two-way wings who could come in and potentially start alongside Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Russell Westbrook will be a priority, sources tell The Athletic.
Here are some details on the types of players the Lakers will be eyeing in free agency:
- Otto Porter Jr., Nicolas Batum, Gary Harris, T.J. Warren, Caleb Martin, Cody Martin, and Danuel House are among the wings the Lakers will target using their full taxpayer mid-level exception, sources tell Buha. Big man Mohamed Bamba is also on the team’s radar as a possible TMLE option, Buha adds.
- The Lakers have “strong interest” in bringing back Monk, but that will depend both on his market and on the quality of players available to the club for the taxpayer mid-level, says Buha. The team would likely have to use the MLE to sign Monk, since it can otherwise only offer him a deal worth about $2.6MM.
- Jeremy Lamb, Nemanja Bjelica, Jevon Carter, and Juan Toscano-Anderson are among the players that will receive interest from the Lakers for either a portion of the mid-level or a minimum-salary deal, Buha writes.
- Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times identify Thomas Bryant and Damian Jones as centers who could draw interest from the Lakers. Woike and Turner also say that some rival executives believe Bulls guard Coby White could be a target for L.A.