August 12, 2022

In the dark days of Chris Cowan’s ownership regime, the Golden State Warriors would often look south after a disappointing, missing playoff season, and add a free agent from the championship-winning Los Angeles Lakers. Remember when the team gave Derek Fisher a six-year contract in 2004? And then undervalued it two years later? Or when they gave former Laker Ronny Turiaf a four-year contract in 2008 and lost their salary him four years later? (With Anthony Randolph, a prospect from some Dub Nation corners still believe in.)

Well well well. How turntables have… you know. The Lakers have now started adding former Warriors in free agency. Like JaVale McGee. And Boogie Cousins. And Andrew Bogut. And Kent Bazemore. And even Quinn Cook, double NBA champion! And Alfonzo McKinnie, Damian Jones and trainer Luke Walton.

According to a report by Jovan Buha in Athleticismthe Lakers will continue to shop in the Used Warriors section this offseason, with a number of free agent Dubs high on their wish list.

Players the Lakers will target with their mid-level taxpayer exception include Otto Porter Jr., Nicolas Batum, Gary Harris, TJ Warren, Caleb Martin, Cody Martin, Mo Bamba and Danuel House Jr., according to multiple league sources. Players the Lakers will be interested in for the partial mid-level exception or minimum contracts include Nemanja BjelicaJeremy Lamb, Jevon Carter and Juan Toscano Andersonaccording to league sources.

(emphasis mine)

The article also mentions Kevon Looney and Gary Payton II, but thankfully they are classified as “unrealistic goals”.

Otto Porter Jr. is their top target, unsurprisingly, after a return season in SF where he showed he can still play great defense, rebound and drain all three, especially from the corner. He’s also a bit past his prime and is very injury prone, two qualities the Lakers seem to particularly covet when finding teammates for LeBron James. If they actually start the season with Russell Westbrook, Porter’s defense would be key, and he’d also have plenty of missed shots to rebound. Someone is going to give Porter the mid-level exception, and if it isn’t the Warriors, it might as well be LA.

How does Bjelica fit in at the Lakers? Easy. He is older and slower than Porter, which must have the coaching staff salivating. Belli can shoot three times, which the space-hungry Lakers would appreciate, and despite being an inch shorter than Anthony Davis, new coach Darvin Ham can tell Bjelica is the center when playing alongside the Brow, because Davis hated play centre. Bjelica is a whimsical passer, although those passes often don’t go exactly where he wants them to, but again, more accurate than Westbrook. But if the Lakers only offer the veteran minimum, you’d think he’d come back for the same money at Golden State.

Juan Toscano-Anderson is apparently out of the Warriors’ plans for next year after refusing to make him a qualifying offer. How does he fit into LA? While JTA was buried on the Warriors bench at the end of the season, he might be a better 3-and-D option than any current Lakers bench player, with the ability to play both forward positions. . Additionally, the Lakers are now led by Ham, the only head coach in NBA history to participate in the Slam Dunk Contest (we’re not counting Doug Christie’s games as COVID replacement coach for Sacramento). ). He would relish the dunking prowess of Toscano-Anderson, even though JTA never smashed a backboard the way Ham Slamwich did in college.

Somehow the Lakers aren’t targeting Damian Lee or Chris Chiozza yet, but they may be waiting for the first flurry of free agent action to die down. They also have a clean shot to add Mychal Mulder and Ky Bowman, and they might even be able to land Sydney Kings point guard Ian Clark. Good luck Rob Pelinka, but stay away from Belli!