After a disappointing season largely attributed to injuries and lack of chemistry, the Los Angeles Lakers look to build their roster back into a finals contending team.
Unfortunately, the Lakers do not have any cap space so all of their signings will likely be players who would agree to a veterans minimum. (Click here for top 2022 free agents) The Lakers have been trying to move Russell Westbrook for some wiggle room but no team is willing to take on the last year of his 5-yr/$205 million contract without a 1st round pick attached.
Laker’s off season needs
Lakers current 22-23 roster:
- PG: Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn
- SG: Talen Horton-Tucker
- SF: LeBron James
- PF: Stanley Johnson, Wenyen Gabriel (Team Option)
- C: Anthony Davis
The Lakers were the oldest team in the NBA last season with an average age of 30.2 and the Lakers have zero draft picks in the upcoming 2022 NBA draft. The Laker’s need to find a diamond in the rough this off-season to build somewhat of a future once LeBron moves on from LA.
They need to recruit someone to do their dirty work, Los Angeles struggled to rebound and often got out-hustled on defense. The Lakers should look to recruit a perimeter defender that will bring some energy to Laker’s defensive end.
Los Angeles needs someone who can make things happen on offense, the Lakers need a sparkplug off the bench to ignite the second unit. Besides Carmelo Anthony, Los Angeles did not have a shot creator to come off the bench. We should expect the Lakers to recruit a reliable playmaker to come off the bench this off-season to take some pressure off the Laker’s big 3.
Re-Sign Malik Monk
The first thing the Lakers should do this off-season is re-sign Malik Monk. Malik helped the Lakers space the floor last season, shooting 39.1% from 3. At only 23 years old, he has proven that he’s got the tools to be a consistent starter in the NBA.
Malik signed a 1 year 1.8 million minimum contract at the start of the 21-22 season and drastically out played his contract. Keeping him over free-agency will be a tall task, the Lakers only have around 6 million to offer him next season assuming they are still in the Luxury tax.(They definitely will be)
Monk was one of the few the few things that went right for the Lakers last season but teams like the Knicks, Spurs, Wizards and Pistons might present more lucrative offers.
Unleash Josh Okogie
Josh Okogie did not play a significant role in the Timberwolves success last season, only appearing 49 games and averaging around 10 minutes per game. This is largely due to his struggles from the three point line, shooting 29.8% from deep.
Through Josh’s struggles last season, Okogie still received praise from Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch. The Timber wolves Coach cited Josh for being one of the top leaders on the team despite having a bench role, something the Lakers desperately needed last season.
Los Angeles needs a athletic perimeter defender that has knack for wreaking havoc on the defensive end. With Okogie’s stock lower than ever, the Lakers would be able to sign Okogie to a veterans minimum with ease.
Goran Dragić showed he can still play at a high level, giving the Nets huge minutes against the finals bound Boston Celtics. Now 36 years old, Goran is reaching the end of his career and has yet to win a title. The Lakers could lure Goran in with their win-now mentality, adding a reliable playmaker to their 2nd unit.
Goran is seeking strictly win-now teams and made that clear stepping away from the Raptor’s at the start of last season. This means he is likely seeking 1-year contracts, the Lakers should look to target him this off-season.
Any team with LeBron has a shot in the playoffs, if the Laker core can stay healthy next season anything is possible.