The Los Angeles Lakers have had a very busy first 24 hours of free agency. After agreeing to a trade to acquire Russell Westbrook ahead of last week’s NBA Draft, the front office went out and came to terms with Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington and Kent Bazemore on Tuesday.
While Ariza and Howard were brought in for their defensive tenacity and toughness, Ellington and Bazemore will be charged with solving some of LA’s notable shooting concerns.
Ellington is a career 38.2 percent 3-point shooter who shot 42.2 percent from beyond the arc last year while averaging 9.6 points in 22 minutes per game for the Detroit Pistons. Bazemore appeared in 67 outings for the Golden State Warriors last season and shot a career-high 40.8 percent from beyond the arc while averaging 7.2 points.
It doesn’t appear the Lakers are stopping there, though.
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, LA is also in the hunt for Victor Oladipo.
Victor Oladipo could possibly be a 1 year, minimum deal option for the Lakers as the market could be drying up for him. 🤔
— The Laker Files (@LakerFiles) August 1, 2021
The peak of Oladipo’s pro tenure came in 2017 when he earned All-NBA and All-Defense honors while winning the league’s Most Improved Player award. That season he posted a career-high 23.1 points while leading the league in steals with 2.4 per game. At the time, he looked like one of the NBA’s most promising two-way players.
Alex Caruso stays winning. https://t.co/RPDs7KeKXN
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 2, 2021
Unfortunately, in the years since, injuries have seriously bogged Oladipo down. That’s a big reason why the Golden State Warriors, who were once interested in bringing him on, have gone in a different direction.
If the Lakers ultimately pass on Oladipo as well, two serious suitors still remain for his services.
As for LA, three stars willing to take less cash to play for the purple and gold are still available – so it’ll be interesting to see how many actually end up signing with them this offseason.