Lakers Rumors: L.A. Looking To Add Another Big Man In NBA Free Agency
Rob Pelinka, Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to free agency, Los Angeles Lakers GM Rob Pelinka made clear the franchise’s plan to retain core players and make improvements on the fringes of the roster. So far the Lakers have stayed true to that plan and are having a successful free agency because of it.

The team has retained guards Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell on team-friendly deals as well as forward Rui Hachimura. The team also added guard Gabe Vincent who played a huge role in the Miami Heat’s run to the NBA Finals, as well as veteran forward Taurean Prince and young, athletic center Jaxson Hayes.

The Lakers’ roster is now nearly set at 13 players, and according to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the team is expected to add one more player in free agency with another big man being the expected target:

Pelinka and the front office looking to add one more big man makes a lot of sense. The Lakers are pretty set at guard and on the wing with the additions they’ve made and the players who are returning. But the team is still pretty thin at the center spot with Hayes being the only true big man aside from Anthony Davis.

Ideally, the team would bring on a strong big man who can bang with the likes of Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid and provide that physical presence. Someone who can take some of that load off of Davis so that he doesn’t have to go head-to-head with those big men all the time. While Hayes has the height and can provide some rim protection, he is pretty thin and doesn’t have that strength just yet.

Overall it has been an excellent free agency for Pelinka and the Lakers who look like a team that could compete for an NBA Championship next season. Now the front office is just looking for one last piece to complete the puzzle.

Austin Reaves agrees to four-year deal to remain with Lakers

The biggest piece that most believed the Lakers couldn’t afford to lose was guard Austin Reaves who blossomed in a huge way last season. A restricted free agent, Reaves was able to sign an offer sheet with any team, but ultimately he simply returned to the Lakers for the maximum they could offer.

Reaves agreed to a four-year, $56 million deal to remain with the Lakers and the team has locked down an important piece for both their short and long-term future.

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