The Los Angeles Lakers will be heading into the 2019 NBA free agency period with the goal of finding another superstar who can play alongside LeBron James in the 2019-20 NBA season. Last offseason, the Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the summer of 2019. As of now, some of the Lakers’ top targets in the free agency market include Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics, Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors, and Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.
However, according to a previous report from The Inquisitr, the Lakers are expected to be ignored by top free agents this July. According to the article posted by subscriber-only sports publication The Athletic, most league insiders believe that players like Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and Klay Thompson will follow Paul George’s lead and snub the purple and gold in the 2019 NBA free agency. If the league insiders’ prediction is correct, the Lakers could be forced to chase second-tier free agents.
Earlier this week, Jason Reed of Fansided‘s L.A. Sports Hub suggested that the Lakers may consider signing Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks if they fail to sign their top free-agent targets next summer. Middleton may not be on the level of Durant and Leonard, but he will still be a great addition to a Lakers’ team that is in dire need of additional star power. Like his role alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee, Reed believes that Middleton could also be the “perfect Robin” to the Lakers’ equivalent of Batman, LeBron James.
“While playing with LeBron is a much bigger challenge than playing with the Greek Freak, Middleton still knows what it is like to be the sidekick on a prolific contending team, which is going to remove any potential headaches in this process. Middleton also slides into this starting five with ease. He can realistically play the two and create a very promising backcourt alongside Lonzo Ball. Would the Lakers be better off landing one of the game’s best superstars? Absolutely. However, Middleton would not be a bad option if push comes to shove.”
Khris Middleton is averaging 55.3% from 3️-point range this postseason ???? pic.twitter.com/rfCL7UFjVF
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 3, 2019
Khris Middleton will undeniably be an intriguing addition to the Lakers, giving them an All-Star-caliber player who knows how to efficiently play alongside other NBA superstars. Aside from being a reliable option on the offensive end of the floor, Middleton could also be tasked to guard the opposing team’s best player. This season, the 27-year-old small forward is averaging 18.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and one steal on 44.1 percent shooting from the field and 37.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Middleton has been linked to the Lakers in the past months, but as of now, it remains a huge question mark if he has any interest in playing for the purple and gold. Expect more rumors to circulate when the 2018-19 NBA season is officially over.