LA Lakers News: 23-year-old stretch five remains among top free agents available

Lakers News: 23-year-old stretch five remains among top free agents available

Lakers News: Basketball is evolving and the best players seem to be getting taller and more adaptable.

The Los Angeles Lakers traded up in the second round of the 2023 NBA Draft to pick Maxwell Lewis, a 6’7 wing who can do everything, and he has already secured a four-year contract with two years guaranteed with the purple and gold.

And at the top of the draft, there was no one like Victor Wembanyama, who could change the game of basketball with his unique abilities.

That brings us to the Lakers’ final objective in free agency: Adding another big man! Jaxson Hayes has a lot of upside and his defense has been likened to a young Dwight Howard, but he is very limited on offense.

Christian Wood is the main target for LA as he had a solid season with the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 16 points and seven rebounds, but he still doesn’t have a team for next season and the Lakers are very interested in him.

Bismack Biyombo is another option as he has played for several teams and brings a lot of value on defense.

But what if both of those veterans end up signing with other contenders… what do the Lakers do then? One risky option that could be worth a look is Darius Bazley, a 23-year-old who has been in the NBA for five seasons and hasn’t found his niche yet despite being 6’9 and having a skillset that allows him to generate his own offense.

Bleacher Report ranks him as one of the best players still available.

“Over his first three seasons in the league, he was overly reliant on a three-point shot that was not doing him many favors. During that stretch, 42.0percent of all of his shot attempts were threes, but he only made 30.5 percent of those attempts.In 2022-23, that three-point-attempt rate dropped to 29.0, and he played approximately 84 percent of his minutes as a center.As a small-ball 5, Bazley can use his quickness and athleticism to outmaneuver burlier big men.This could be a feasible path forward to a steady role for a good team.”

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