With few players actually under contract for the Los Angeles Lakers, the time to start finding positional players to fill out the roster has officially begun.
After trading away Lonzo Ball, the team’s focus seems to have shifted to other available guards with 2019 NBA free agency underway.
On the Fourth of July, it was reported the Lakers are interested in Trey Burke. The 26-year-old spent the first half of the 2018-19 NBA season with the New York Knicks, before being traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Dennis Smith Jr.
According to Marc Berman of New York Post, Burke has been hinting towards the Lakers for some time now:
Trey Burke, who has a place in SoCal, has long hinted about the possibility of Lakers' interest when he was a Knick. No surprise Lakers are in mix for Burke this July, per source.
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) July 4, 2019
Burke saw significant time with the Knicks and the Mavericks, typically coming off the bench. In his collective 19.4 minutes, he put up a decent 10.9 points but only shooting 43.1% from the field, however.
Burke would provide the Lakers with a much-needed shooting presence. Had Burke been on the Lakers, his 35.2% from the three-point line would have been good for second-highest on the team for players that shot over 150 of them.
The Lakers are also reportedly interested in another guard, Justin Holiday. Holiday saw an increase in his production after spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bulls before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies.
According to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, the Lakers are one of a number of teams interested in Holiday:
Free agent Justin Holiday is considering interest from several teams including the Lakers, Clippers, Bulls, Raptors, Pacers, Wizards, Hornets and Cavaliers, league sources told @TheAthleticNBA. Memphis is open to a sign-and-trade with him.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) July 4, 2019
If signed, Holiday would largely serve as the team’s shooting guard. His length and skills on defense would help the Lakers round out a solid secondary unit. Holiday has also proven very durable, playing all 82 games last year as well as finishing 20th in minutes played.
The team’s interest in guards also led them to extend a qualifying offer to Alex Caruso. Caruso has shown time and time again that he can help make a difference when his number is called.
As the Lakers are waiting for Kawhi Leonard, it is important they find players on the veteran’s minimum as well.