3 Free Agents the Lakers Must Target After Hiring JJ Redick

With the Los Angeles Lakers finding their next head coach, it's time for them to put together their free agency wishlist.
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After weeks of rumors and speculation, the Los Angeles Lakers found their next head coach, as they hired JJ Redick to a four-year contract. 

The 39-year-old Redick has a tough task ahead of himself, as he has to get the Lakers back to the top of the competitive Western Conference, which has improved massively since LA won the title in 2020-21. However, the first-time head coach won’t have to do it alone, as he’ll likely have LeBron James and Anthony Davis by his side.

At the same time, James and Davis can only do so much, as we saw this season under former head coach Darvin Ham. For the Lakers to be successful next season, they need to find quality free agents who could make an impact off the bench or potentially start.

Heading into the 2024 NBA Draft and free agent, the Lakers could use a backup big man and some more depth at the guard spot. D’Angelo Russell has a $18.6 million player option for next season, which he hasn’t decided on yet.

Russell was solid during the regular season, but inconsistent in the postseason and might not be the point guard the Lakers need to go to the next level. Below, we’ll discuss a few players that GM Rob Pelinka and new head coach JJ Redick should have on their radar.

1. Andre Drummond

The Lakers are currently projected to be $82M over the cap heading into the offseason, which doesn’t give them much wiggle room heading into free agency.

However, we know things can change thanks to trades and players declining player options to hit free agency. That said, one position the Lakers need to upgrade immediately is the center spot as they don’t have reliable depth behind Davis.

This season, Los Angeles depended on the combination of Jaxson Hayes and Christian Wood, which didn’t move the needle. Therefore, the Lakers should have Andre Drummond on their free agency list, as he can give them a formidable big man in the post who can control the glass.

Drummond was one of the more talked about names at the trade deadline, but the Chicago Bulls decided to keep him. It was a puzzling decision by Chicago, who will likely lose the big man for nothing this offseason.

The veteran center averaged 8.4 points and 9.0 rebounds in 17.1 minutes per game this season with the Bulls. The stats Drummond put up this season with the Bulls were eerily similar to what he did with the Lakers in the 2020-21 season.

During that season, Drummond posted 11.9 points and 10.2 rebounds in 21 games (all starts) after being waived by the Cleveland Cavaliers in March. Drummond will likely have multiple suitors in free agency, meaning the Lakers must pay for his expertise. It wouldn’t be a bad gamble as the West is getting stronger in the frontcourt.