The Los Angeles Lakers currently have a roster consisting of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma and three players the team is openly trying to offload for cap space. At some point, the team is going to need to add complementary pieces.
According to Yahoo Sports senior NBA reporter Chirs Haynes, that help could come in the form of some old teammates of LeBron James.
Could the Lakers pick up some of LeBron’s Cavaliers teammates?
If the Lakers are unable to open up cap space when they finalize the Davis deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, Haynes presented two possibilities that could hit the open market soon.
The first is Kyle Korver, who just finished a season split between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz in which he averaged 8.6 points per game while shooting 39.7 percent from 3-point range. Korver was a teammate of James for a season and a half after coming to Cleveland in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks during the 2016-17 season.
“Kyle Korver is a name who just got traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Most people think that eventually he will be bought out. ” Haynes said. “We all know that the Lakers need shooting, that was their Achilles heel last year, so short him up, bring him in the fold, that would be a big boost.”
Another possibility could be James’ old friend J.R. Smith. The butt of so many jokes from last year’s NBA Finals remains in Cleveland thanks to a four-year, $57 million contract that no team is interested in adding, but he could be on the way out very soon.
“If he’s waived, it’s my belief he will end up with the Lakers,” Haynes said. “Remember, J.R. Smith has a clause in his contract. By the end of this month, if he’s not traded, I believe most or all of his contract be guaranteed for next season, so that’s why Cleveland is trying to do something or get something for him now in a trade.”
Obviously, both Korver and Smith would give the Lakers a veteran shooter the team simply did not have in their first year with James.
The Lakers were more than lacking in shooting last season, almost by design with the signings of Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee to go along with a young core that already wasn’t big on outside shooting.
The team ended up ranking second-to-last in the NBA in 3-point percentage at 33.3 percent, which just isn’t acceptable when your team is built around a star who needs shooters around him like James.
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