Lakers Embarrassing Free Agency Nightmare Continues With Latest Miss

The Los Angeles Lakers are continuing to let ideal free-agent targets sign elsewhere.
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The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be the only team in the NBA to not sign any free agents so far. They have targeted a few premium names in free agency like DeMar DeRozan and Klay Thompson but failed to sign any of them. Now, there are affordable role players on the market who would be excellent fits in Los Angeles but for some reason, GM Rob Pelinka is still keeping his powder dry.

The latest free agent who signed a very team-friendly deal that the Lakers should have considered is Haywood Highsmith of the Miami Heat. On the ninth day of free agency, Highsmith re-signed in Miami for a two-year, $11 million deal. That should have been a deal Los Angeles should have been thrilled to give.

Lakers Inexplicably Continue to Let Ideal Free Agents Sign Elsewhere

Highsmith is the latest three-and-D wing that the Lakers missed out on. Caleb Martin, who signed a four-year, $35 million deal with the Sixers, Derrick Jones Jr, who signed for three years and $30 million, Naji Marshall (three years, $27 million), and Simone Fontecchio (two years, $16 million) all signed team-friendly contracts, while the Lakers don't have a single reliable two-way forward to fit around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The number of rotation-caliber free agents is dwindling. The Lakers will have to rely significantly on the trade market. With only two first-round picks available to trade, it's hard for them to pull off any blockbuster moves. They will have to use a combination of D'Angelo Russell, Gabe Vincent, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Rui Hachimura to match salaries and potentially include Jalen Hood-Schifino and Dalton Knecht as sweeteners in a trade. The likelihood of those trade assets bringing back a high-level starter, however, is low.

Pressure is on Pelinka to deliver. If he can't, he could potentially be on the hot seat sooner than expected.

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