The Los Angeles Lakers were linked to a number of big-name players ahead of the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline, but Rob Pelinka ultimately decided to stand pat.
While the Lakers may not have made any trades, they still have avenues to improve their roster via free agency with a number of players expected to be bought out now.
One option the Lakers have been linked to for a while is Darren Collison, who retired at the end of last season but now has plans of returning. The Los Angeles native reportedly wants to stay local, making both the Lakers and Clippers logical fits.
The Lakers are expected to give free agent guard JR Smith a post-trade deadline audition (perhaps as soon as next week) and remain favorites to sign Darren Collison if Collison elects to make a comeback to the NBA — in addition to potential pickups on the buyout market
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 6, 2020
Smith has a history with LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers but has not played since Nov. 2018 after being waived. It is unclear what kind of shape the 34-year-old is in, which is why the Lakers would want to work him out before signing him, but he would fill a need as a spot-up shooter that can also defend wings.
Smith is a career 37.3 percent three-point shooter and shot 37.5 percent from that distance in his last full season with the Cavaliers.
Collison can also shoot the rock as he was a 40.7 percent shooter from three last season with the Indiana Pacers in addition to averaging 6.0 assists.
The Lakers chemistry has been among the best in the league this season, which is likely part of the reason why Pelinka was hesitant to make a trade to mess with that.
Los Angeles currently has a full roster, so they would need to waive players to bring in Collison, Smith or any other free agent they sign off the buyout market.