The Los Angeles Lakers started the offseason with the big-splash move to acquire star point guard Russell Westbrook. The acquisition quickly shifts the Lakers‘ free agency approach toward adding proven veterans. The list of potential targets may include Andre Iguodala.
Lakers trade for Russell Westbrook
The Lakers shook up its offseason plans after acquiring Westbrook.
The move immediately provides Los Angeles a Big 3 to build the rest of the roster around. The front office has added the playmaking guard that it wanted to pair alongside star forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Westbrook is coming off his fourth campaign in the last five years averaging a triple-double.
The team currently only possesses four players under contract: Westbrook, James, Davis, and Marc Gasol. It positions the organization more intently toward making strong pushes to add proven talent on inexpensive deals.
All that may lead the Lakers’ free agency approach to acquire a three-time NBA champion.
Lakers may target adding a former NBA Finals MVP
Since the Lakers acquired Westbrook, the front office’s focus has shifted toward shaping the roster around its newly formed Big 3.
It’s created building momentum toward a busy offseason filled with signing proven veterans on inexpensive deals in free agency. According to Brad Turner of The LA Times, three-time NBA champion Andre Iguodala may be a possible addition.
“The Lakers need shooting. One name that is coming up is Patty Mills. He can shoot the lights out and would be great off the bench. Wayne Ellington is another shooter who has interest in rejoining the Lakers. Trevor Ariza and Andre Iguodala are veteran wings who are candidates. Carmelo Anthony is interested, just waiting on a call from the Lakers when free agency opens Monday,’ Turner wrote.
Iguodala will hit the open market after the Miami Heat elected to decline his $15 million option for the 2021-22 season. It effectively allows the 37-year-old to extend his NBA career elsewhere. The Lakers are a feasible landing spot if he’s willing to take a sizable pay cut to compete for a championship.
Los Angeles’ odds may benefit significantly from Iguodala’s long-standing relationship with general manager Rob Pelinka, who used to serve as his longtime agent. The Lakers also previously pursued him after the Golden State Warriors traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Although he’s in the twilight of his NBA career, Iguodala still offers tremendous value in a limited role. He’s a strong asset behind his defense and passer, along with providing championship experience. In other words, expect the Lakers to make a full-hearted push to land him.
Front office will dive deep into free agency
Iguodala is one of the several potential options the Lakers could explore signing in free agency.
If the three-time NBA champion remains in Miami or signs elsewhere, the team will have a few other intriguing options. Since the Westbrook trade, players such as Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay, Reggie Bullock, Patty Mills, Dwight Howard, DeMar DeRozan, Trevor Ariza, and Avery Bradley have been linked to Los Angeles.
The Lakers will likely emphasize adding 3-point shooting to the roster as the team struggled to find consistency. Last season, Los Angeles ranked 21st on 35.4% shooting from beyond the arc and 25th with 11.1 made 3-pointers per game. It will play a critical part in building the group of talent around the star power.
The front office doesn’t possess much financial flexibility after the Westbrook trade, but there is an opportunity to put together a veteran-laden roster.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.