The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of work to do in 2019 NBA free agency as once the Anthony Davis trade gets completed, they will only have four players on the roster.
The Lakers have just over $32 million in cap space, but they seem to be prioritizing max-caliber players like Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, and D’Angelo Russell. If they land one of them, they would be limited to mostly minimum deals to fill out the rest of their roster.
One area of need will be to add a backup center that can play alongside Davis. One possible option the Lakers may have been hoping they could get on a minimum deal is re-signing JaVale McGee.
McGee may wind up being out of their price range as Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is reporting that he has set up a meeting with the Houston Rockets:
Free agent center JaVale McGee will meet with the Houston Rockets on Sunday, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 30, 2019
If McGee winds up signing with the Rockets or elsewhere, then the Lakers will need to look outside the organization for help at the forward and center positions. One potential option they are reportedly showing interest in is Taj Gibson, according to Darren Wolfson of ABC Minneapolis:
Outside teams expected to have some level of interest in #Twolves FA Taj Gibson: Clippers… Nets… Bucks… Bulls… Warriors… Raptors… Blazers… Hornets… Lakers.
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) June 29, 2019
Gibson attended USC and also played his high school basketball in Southern California, so he is very familiar with Los Angeles. He played in 70 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season, averaging 10.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists while shooting 56.6% from the field.
Another option that the Lakers may be pursuing is Richaun Holmes, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype:
Richaun Holmes has received interest from the Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls (his hometown team), according to sources. Holmes averaged 8.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 16.9 minutes last year with the Phoenix Suns.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 30, 2019
Holmes spent last season with the Phoenix Suns, averaging 8.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 0.9 assists while shooting 60.8% from the field in 70 games.
What the Lakers do have working for them is they will presumably be championship contenders with Davis and LeBron James already on the roster. As a result, veterans could potentially take less money to sign with them if they want to compete for a ring while also getting playing time that they may not receive if they sign with teams that have deeper rosters.