Even though the Los Angeles Lakers made a splash in the offseason by trading for Russell Westbrook, they now have the tough task of trying to field a full roster.
Trading for Westbrook cost the Lakers Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma, and Montrezl Harrell three players who played key roles in head coach Frank Vogel’s rotation throughout the 2020-21 season. With only the taxpayer’s mid-level exception and veteran minimum contracts to hand out, Rob Pelinka will need to be diligent about who he chases after in free agency.
Fortunately for the Lakers, now that they have their own version of a “Big 3,” veterans from across the league will view them as ideal landing spots as they try to chase a ring in the latter stages of their careers. According to Broderick Turner, Andrew Grief, and Dan Woike of Los Angeles Times, several players like Wayne Ellington look like they might be interested in coming to Los Angeles:
The Lakers need shooting. One name that is coming up is Patty Mills. He can shoot the lights out and would be great off the bench. Wayne Ellington is another shooter who has interest in rejoining the Lakers. Trevor Ariza and Andre Iguodala are veteran wings who are candidates. Carmelo Anthony is interested, just waiting on a call from the Lakers when free agency opens Monday.
Ellington spent the 2014-15 season with the Lakers and was one of the team’s marksmen as he shot 37 percent from beyond the arc on nearly four attempts a game. However, Ellington had an excellent 2020-21 campaign as he shot over 42 percent from distance on six attempts a game. With Caldwell-Pope gone, Ellington could slide in as the starting shooting guard and provide some much-needed spacing for Westbrook. LeBron James, and Anthony Davis.
Shooting was a priority for the Lakers this offseason after seeing how cramped the floor was during the playoffs, and Ellington would be a great option if he is willing to return. Hopefully, Pelinka prioritizes trying to sign the shooting guard in free agency because he will be surely sought after by multiple teams.
Carmelo Anthony interested in coming to Lakers
Carmelo Anthony is another name that has been tied to the Lakers for several years due to his friendship with James. However, this time around, it seems like him donning Purple and Gold is a real possibility as he is reportedly waiting for a call.