Lakers Top 3 Free Agency Targets

We are just hours into free agency and the Los Angeles Lakers are anxious to enhance their squad at every level. Due to their limited spending, there are only a few players they can pursue, but as a storied franchise, the Lakers are always able to acquire tremendous quality for a low price. Here are their top three players to target once free agency officially begins.

3) Victor Oladipo- SG

Following a season in which he saw little playing time due to injuries, Oladipo might experience a career resurgence playing alongside LeBron James in Los Angeles. Because he is a two-player, he would fit right in with what their head coach is looking for. Prior to his injury, he was a 20-point-per-game player who was named to the All-NBA Defense Team. If the organization is able to sign him to a veteran minimum contract, his performance on the court will trump the value of his contract.

2) Gary Harris- SG

During Harris‘ early years in Denver, there was a lot of talk about how good the backcourt tandem of him and Jamal Murray would be. While he was excellent in his own right, he was later traded to the Orlando Magic. Due to the infusion of a younger incoming core, he averaged 10 points per game in his last season in Orlando. He’s still relatively young at 27, it’s still time for him to exhibit the same talent that he did in Denver. Regardless of the kind of deal he’d be offered, he’d fit the squad well due to his spacing and ability to shoot from three.

1) Mo Bamba- C

If there was one thing the Lakers really needed, it was help at the center position. With Anthony Davis injured and a revolving door at center, the former Orlando center would swiftly fill that void. The previous top ten pick in the 2018 draft failed to live up to expectations, averaging 10 points and 8 rebounds throughout his time with the team.

While Wendell Carter Jr.’s accession could have played a role, with their recent acquisition of picking Paolo Panchero first overall in this year’s draft, the writing was on the wall for him. Bamba’s talent was only concealed due to playing for a weak organization that underutilized his talent. Towards the conclusion of the season he demonstrated his tremendous defense as a shot-blocker. He also clearly exhibited his ability to shoot from long range. ​​You pair him with Anthony Davis and you have one of the best defensive front-court duos in the league.

Bamba would be the ideal big man in the Lakers’ new system, and his talents could finally be used properly. Not to mention the Lakers have a long history with Orlando’s centers, who always perform well when they are in purple and gold.

Lakers Workouts: Prospect Power Rankings 2.0

The Los Angeles Lakers workouts have continued this week. They have been busy bringing in various prospects for pre-draft workouts in order to gain a sense of who to target in the late second round or as an undrafted free agent. The Purple and Gold have brought in a mixture of mid-major and power conference level players. They’ve recently started bringing in additional players to get a better look at their next potential prospect. Here are their rankings.

6) Haowen Gou Small Forward-Shanghai Sharks

Gou is a 6’7 200 pound prospect who most recently played in the Chinese Basketball Association. He averaged 14 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in his last season before declaring for the draft. Gou possesses excellent ball control and can generate his own shot without the assistance of his teammates. He would more than likely earn a spot on the Lakers summer league team or be a draft and stash type of player.

5) Michael Devoe- Georgia Tech ,Shooting Guard

The Purple and Gold take another look at a Georgia Tech prospect, this time shooting guard Michael Devoe. He is 6 foot 5 and weighs 197 pounds. He averaged 18 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and nearly 2 steals per game last season. While being named the ACC Tournament MVP, he was also named to both the regular and postseason ACC teams. Devoe is a legitimate two-way player who can be a nuisance on defense and score in bunches when needed. He should be high on the Lakers’ priority list of players to seek in the draft or free agent pool.

4) Jermaine Samuels-Villanova, Small Forward

One of Villanova head coach Jay Wright’s talented championship roster players has landed a workout with the Lakers. Jermaine Samuels, who stands at 6-7 and weighs 230 pounds, averaged 11 points and six rebounds last season. Don’t be deceived by his stats; he has a significant effect on the court by either using his muscular physique to force his way to the ball or by using his high energy for put-backs on rebounds.

If he earns the chance to develop under coach Jay Wright, he has the potential to be one of the next Villanova players who have made the league. He would follow in the footsteps of Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, and Josh Hart.

3) Remy Martin-Point Guard-Kansas

Martin is an Arizona State transfer who last season played for Kansas. There, he also won the National Championship in a thrilling battle with North Carolina. He is 6’0 and weighs 183 pounds. He was a rotational player at Kansas, averaging 8 points, three rebounds, and two assists per game. It may be said that he was at his finest at Arizona State. But. it was at Kansas that he was a major ingredient in his team’s championship run; despite being shorter than most. He doesn’t let that bother him because he has no difficulty scoring and isn’t afraid of a larger defender.

2) Kenny Lofton Jr.-Power Forward/Center- Louisiana Tech

Kenny Lofton Jr was one of the best players in Conference USA and was one of the draft’s many overlooked prospects. He is 6-foot-7 and weighs 275 pounds. Last season, he averaged 16 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. During the season, he was named to the All-Conference USA Team twice and Conference USA All-Freshmen. He was also a member of the 2020 All-Conference USA Tourney Team and 2020 Conference USA Rookie Of The Year. The Louisiana Tech Bulldog terrorized his opponents with his towering body, frequently employing the bully ball style of play to earn his buckets.

Lofton Jr. is also incredibly quick for his size and an underrated passer. Not to mention he is a monster on defense; if the Lakers can get him, you have a power forward for the future.

1)Johnny Juzang- Point Guard UCLA

Another Bruin could be on his way to the Los Angeles Lakers roster if he’s able to impress them. Johnny Juzang, an all around great talent that basketball fans will remember for his numerous clutch moments in the NCAA tournament. The former Bruin stands 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 210 pounds. Last season, he averaged 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. He set the entire PAC-12 on fire as he was a force on offense getting buckets after buckets.

His team lost to North Carolina in the semi-finals in 2021, but he still performed admirably. He might be the next Bruin alumni to don the Purple and Gold if he performs well and makes an impact on Lakers scouts.

*Honorable Mention*—Shareef O’Neal, LSU Power Forward

It was recently announced that the Lakers will conduct a draft workout with Shareef O’Neal, the son of former LSU Tiger and Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal. Despite limited playing time due to injuries, he averaged three points and two rebounds per game. He had heart surgery less than two years ago, so it’s possible he’s still adjusting to the game, but make no mistake, the skill is there. At 6’10 and weighing 225pounds, O’Neal inherited his father’s physique.

Many people forget that he was ranked 41st in his 2018 basketball class, he was a phenomenal scorer and defender, and that it’s all about proving the skeptics wrong. It would be quite special to witness the next generation of the O’Neal family wear a Laker’s jersey, as his father did.

Should The Lakers Target Grant Golden?

The Los Angeles Lakers have worked out a number of prospects over the previous two weeks. When looking at the list of players, one caught my eye that was a fairly slept on possibility in Grant Golden. Could he be the next new Laker?

Who is Grant?

Golden is a 6’10, 225-pound power forward from Richmond. Last season, he averaged 13 points, six rebounds, and three assists per game.

He was also named to the Atlantic 10 Conference team three times between 2017 and 2022. He was also named to the All-Conference Tournament team in 2022.

What stands out the most about him is his exceptional shooting ability. He can shoot from everywhere on the court thanks to his towering body. Golden also has excellent passing skills for a prospect his size. He also performs amazingly in the pick and roll.

He possesses abilities that will only improve if he could be mentored by players such as LeBron James and Anthony Davis, as well as the entire Lakers coaching staff, who understand how to develop young players.

Golden’s skill stood out and built a reputation for himself despite being at a small school with minimal media coverage till it was time for the tournament.

Player Comp -Kelly Olynyk With Playmaking

After seeing him play at Richmond, I noticed that he is extremely similar to current Detroit Piston Kelly Olynyk in terms of scoring and floor spacing. One area where they differ is in passing, as Golden has been one of the finest passing bigs in college without receiving national recognition.

It is obvious that he can be a second-round pick or end up on a summer league club. But, if the Lakers determine Grant Golden, expect the Lakers scouting team to turn him into the next big draft steal.