The Los Angeles Lakers have to be considered one of the big winners of free agency so far as they managed to retain their key free agents while also adding help along the margins to bolster their shot at banner No. 18.
The Lakers came to agreements with Rui Hachimura, D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves, three of their younger core members who each had their moments during their Western Conference Finals run. Los Angeles also managed to get value signings in Taurean Prince, Cam Reddish and Jaxson Hayes, players who fit the identity and ethos of Darvin Ham.
However, their most surprising signing was Gabe Vincent who they reportedly got on a three-year, $33 million deal. Vincent was a key member of the Miami Heat who managed to get all the way to the NBA Finals as a No. 8 seed. As the Heat’s starting point guard, Vincent showed he was capable of scoring when the lights were the brightest as well as competing defensively.
Losing Vincent is a blow to Miami as he was one of their best players during their playoff stretch, but Bam Adebayo had no problem congratulating his former teammate on his new deal via his Twitter account:
MY BOYYYYYYY 💰💰💰 https://t.co/qX3ew6jqf5
— 13am Adebayo💥 (@Bam1of1) June 30, 2023
Despite the new CBA that has prompted teams to salary dump any long-term money, free agents around the league still managed to sign some very lucrative deals. In Vincent’s case, the Lakers gave him just about all of their non-taxpayer mid-level exception in order to pry him away from the other teams that were trying to sign him.
The UC Santa Barbara product now gets an opportunity to return to Southern California where he will be expected to take up a prominent role as either the starting point guard or the sixth man off the bench. If Vincent is able to replicate his production from this past postseason during the 2023-24 season, Los Angeles will have then gotten another bargain in free agency.
Dennis Schroder signs two-year deal with Toronto Raptors
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Toronto Raptors are weaker now after they saw their leader Fred VanVleet leave for the Houston Rockets. VanVleet signed a massive three-year, $130 million deal with the Rockets and thus left the Raptors with nothing for his services.
However, Toronto was able to pivot quickly as they signed Dennis Schroder to a two-year, $26 million deal.