5 available wings, forwards the Lakers could sign in free agency

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The Los Angeles Lakers seem to have their third point guard slot figured out with Rajon Rondo likely returning.

Rondo, who was traded by the L.A. Clippers to the Memphis Grizzlies in August, had his contract bought out by the franchise on Saturday, paving the way for his return to the Lakers.

Los Angeles had been in the market for weeks looking another point guard behind Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Nunn. That hole should be filled soon.

Though the Lakers have players Mac McClung and Chaundee Brown on training camp deals, it’s unclear if either will make the final roster since L.A. wants to keep the last spot open.

It’s possible, according to a report, the Lakers could add another veteran wing or forward to the team to round out the roster. Let’s look at five possible options:

Paul Millsap, UFA

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Paul Millsap is one of the prominent names available to grab. Though he turns 37 later in the year, he could provide useful minutes in short stints off the bench. He had a pretty forgettable 2020-21 season with the Denver Nuggets, especially with defensive concerns. But two seasons ago, Millsap converted 43.5% of his 3s on 2.4 attempts a game. Is there enough juice left in his tank for a minimum deal? He could fill a role as a backup power forward or small-ball center if his defense holds.

James Ennis, UFA

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The former Long Beach State player is arguably the best name for the Lakers at this point. He shot 43.3% from deep last season with the Orlando Magic and can slot in at three positions. The 31-year-old James Ennis would be a great bargain grab at this stage of free agency and has already been linked to L.A.

Wesley Matthews, UFA

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Wesley Matthews, 34, still hasn't been picked up despite being relatively serviceable off the bench last season. His 3-point percentage plummeted to 33.5% but his defensive prowess could be useful in specific scenarios. He'll have chemistry with the main stars on the roster. Though there's concern about his mobility declining further, there aren't many better options out there.

Garrison Mathews, UFA

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Garrison Mathews, who turns 25 soon, spent the last two seasons creating a name for himself with the Washington Wizards. He was on a two-way contract, but with the numerous forwards and wings Washington added, Mathews was eliminated from the picture. He shot a combined 38.9% from deep the last two seasons on 3.0 attempts, so there could be a role for him as a catch-and-shoot threat off the bench.

Paul Watson, UFA

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Toronto Raptors waived Paul Watson, 26, during the early stages of free agency. He was on a two-year deal, but make the cut for all the versatile wings and forwards Toronto has on the roster. Still, Watson made 46.9% of his 3s (2.4 attempts) in 27 games last season. It's a small sample size given his experience in the league (37 total games), but could it be sustained alongside all the talent in L.A.? It's unlikely the Lakers pursue Watson, but his 3-point shooting is intriguing for a team that signed many shooters this offseason.

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