The Los Angeles Lakers were able to add on to their trade for Anthony Davis to open up cap space to sign a third max contract player should they choose to do so. Add in the fact that Davis decided to waive his $4 million trade kicker and the Lakers are without question capable of making a big play for another max free agent.
That being said, there are some who believe adding a third max player would be a big mistake. Los Angeles will begin free agency with around $32 million in cap room. Signing a max player would take that down close to nothing, which would make rounding out the roster around James, Davis, and the third star very difficult.
Should the Lakers choose to go that route, they will need to find some bargain veteran players who are willing to take the veteran’s minimum to compete for a championship in L.A. It should be noted that the Lakers will have the room exception worth around $4.76 million to use.
Many players throughout the years have been willing to do that. Playing for the Lakers is prestigious in and of itself, but playing alongside LeBron James, Davis, and a third superstar would without question be of interest to many veterans.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at three veteran players that the Lakers could target for the veteran’s minimum if they are able to land a third superstar.
3. Isaiah Thomas
Let’s start this off by listing a point guard that has already played with the Lakers in his career. Isaiah Thomas had a very short stint with L.A. and is hoping to get another legitimate opportunity to prove that he can still play at a high level. He had a disappointing year with the Denver Nuggets in 2018-19, but has not given up hope or confident yet.
Los Angeles may very well be in need of finding a point guard and Thomas could fit the bill. He isn’t going to be a hot commodity in free agency and could very well be worth the risk. Why not give him a chance?
2. Vince Carter
Secondly, Vince Carter is going to be playing one more NBA season before retiring. He may not be what he once was, but he can still come off the bench and play a role. The Lakers need to bring in some shooting and scorers, which Carter is still capable of doing at a decent level.
Last season with the Atlanta Hawks, Carter ended up averaging 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. He shot 41.9 percent from the field overall and 38.9 percent from the three-point line. Carter would be well worth a one-year deal at the veteran’s minimum to help round out the roster.
1. Pau Gasol
Finally, another player that spent the majority of his prime years with the Lakers should be a consideration. At 39 years of age, Pau Gasol is still active and looking for a deal this offseason. Bringing him back to Los Angeles to add depth to the front-court would make a lot of sense.
Gasol showed major signs of age last season split between the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks. He only averaged 3.9 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, but may have something left in the tank for one last run. Los Angeles wouldn’t be leaning on him for much, but playing 15-20 minutes per game off the bench is a role that he could still fill.