Lakers Will Explore ‘Potential Pathways’ to Bring Back a Top-5 Draft Pick

The Los Angeles Lakers sit focused toward building another championship-caliber roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The Lakers possess a singular game plan that may lead to several roster changes. All that may guide the team to bring back a familiar face.

Lakers hold a busy offseason ahead

The Lakers‘ failed attempt to secure a second straight NBA title sends the team to an early offseason.

It’s not the desired outcome, but it provides the front office with more time to game plan toward building a strong roster around James and Davis. Los Angeles holds the tremendous benefit of constructing a team around two of the game’s best players.

As the offseason inches closer, another potential backcourt option has emerged.

Lakers will explore ‘potential pathways’ to bring back a top-5 draft pick

The Lakers’ playoff shortcomings quickly shift the gears toward considerable offseason roster changes.

The front office will explore various options to stabilize the backcourt aside from bringing back Dennis Schroder. Marc Stein of the New York Times reported Tuesday that Los Angeles might look into reacquiring Lonzo Ball.

“Word is that the Lakers, on top of their well-chronicled need for more shooting, covet one more difference-making playmaker who would allow James and Davis to spend more time at power forward and center.

“Expect to eventually hear of them searching for potential pathways, however, obstacle-strewn they would be, to reacquiring restricted free agent-to-be Lonzo Ball for that reason.”

The second overall pick from the 2017 draft just finished his four-year, $33.4 million rookie deal with a $14.3 million qualifying offer for the 2021-22 season. The New Orleans Pelicans are not expected to match any significant offer sheets to retain him.

Since leaving the Lakers, Ball has become a more efficient 3-point shooter, hitting at a 37.6% clip over the last two seasons in New Orleans. He’s become a more defined player but hasn’t taken the next step forward as a scorer. He remains a strong asset as a passer and stout individual defender.

The Lakers would need to present Ball with a sizable contract due to the Pelicans holding the ability to match any offer sheet. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers are rumored to be interested in signing him.

The Lakers’ reported desire to bring back Ball likely comes with the caveat that it will have to fall within a set price range. Nonetheless, he’s another backcourt option the team will have this upcoming offseason.

Los Angeles will consider various offseason options

With only five players currently under contract for the 2021-22 campaign, the Lakers hold every opportunity to restructure the roster.

Los Angeles has James, Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Marc Gasol, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope contracted through next season. The game plan is crystal clear to build a championship-contending team centered around James and Davis.

The front office holds several routes to fortify the backcourt through free agency and the trade market. The Lakers are already linked to sign-and-trade scenarios involving All-Star Kyle Lowry and Spencer Dinwiddie.

Although there is no traction toward Damian Lillard wanting to leave the Portland Trail Blazers, the front office will keep an eye on the situation. Los Angeles can also re-sign Schroder, but his desired $100 million to $120 million contract may be out of the team’s price range.

The Lakers want to build a stronger supporting cast of talent around their stars, and pursuing a point guard is a definite step in the right direction. The upcoming weeks will make it quite clear how Los Angeles plans to approach the offseason.

Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.

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