The Los Angeles Lakers worked hard this summer to build their roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis as they added plenty of shooting with players like Danny Green and Quinn Cook while even finding a floor-spacing center in DeMarcus Cousins, who was unfortunately lost to a torn ACL.
However, one area they haven’t addressed is a defensive-minded small forward. The Lakers badly need someone who can slide in while James is on the bench or be turned to when they need to cool off one of the league’s best swingmen. Green can handle that job to a degree but his efforts would certainly be enhanced if another 3-and-D player was on the roster in a supporting role. Additionally, another wing defender would go a long way towards ensuring that James wouldn’t have to burn energy defending the opponent’s best player and could instead focus on running the team’s offense.
Andre Iguodala, formerly of the Golden State Warriors and currently on the Memphis Grizzlies roster, would be the ideal fit. While Iguodala’s production has been slipping as his age continues to creep higher, the Lakers would be able to use the 35-year-old in a somewhat limited role, keeping him fresh for big matchups with the likes of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Jimmy Butler, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
As a career 33% three-point shooter, Iguodala doesn’t quite provide the floor spacing the Lakers would like to have but he has been known to hit big shots in big moments. On a team that has their sights set on contending, Iguodala’s experience could prove invaluable.
That said, it still isn’t clear if Iguodala will be able to come to a buyout agreement with the Grizzlies or if they might even be able to find a trade partner willing to give up an asset for him. Should Iguodala eventually hit free agency, the Lakers should be ready with an offer but would need to create a roster spot.