4 Former Rivals the Lakers Can Add This Offseason

The Los Angeles Lakers can turn their attention to these former foes in the offseason to bolster their roster for another title run.
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Nicolas Batum

Another long-time Clipper who would be a good fit with the Lakers is Nicolas Batum. The French veteran has been thriving in a new role over the last couple of years as a three-and-D forward. At age 35, he can't play too many minutes but he can do everything on the floor, including guarding multiple positions, protecting the rim on defense, and shooting and passing on the offensive end.

Batum is a free agent this summer and he should be acquirable as he will likely want to play for a contender in the final stretch of his career. The only issue is the possibility that he might retire after the 2024 Paris Olympics.

If he is indeed returning to the NBA, the Lakers should seriously consider him as he is the perfect fit next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. He can take on tough defensive assignments while knocking down open shots. He is a good connector who can get the offense flowing without needing the ball in his hands. If the Lakers can get him on a short-term deal on a team-friendly contract, Batum should be near the top of their shortlist of free agents.

Paul George

This is likely more of a pipe dream. The Clippers star is entering free agency this summer and he is the most prized player on the market. He is probably the best player expected to change teams in the offseason.

The problem is that the Lakers don't really have the resources to bring him in. The only way this can happen is if PG13 forces his way to the Lakers. This would require a sign-and-trade scenario where the Lakers send matching salaries to the Clippers and draft capital. Whether the Clippers would want to facilitate such a deal to help their intra-city rivals is a different question.

Another way this gets done is if LeBron James leaves and the Lakers see George as a replacement. This may not be the best strategy since if James leaves, Los Angeles should probably rebuild rather than give George a max contract.

Plus, Lakers fans don't want to think about the possibility of James leaving. It is also highly unlikely.

However, if the Lakers somehow manage to lure George away from their rivals, it would make them instant championship favorites. It is certainly worth keeping an eye on and fantasizing about.

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