The Los Angeles Lakers will be heading into the summer of 2019 with the goal of finding a second superstar who can play alongside LeBron James in the 2019-20 NBA season. Last summer, the Lakers purposely filled their roster with one-year contracts in order to maintain their salary cap flexibility for the 2019 NBA free agency, when the likes of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, and Jimmy Butler will be available on the market.
However, as the 2019 NBA free agency draws closer, rumors are starting to heat up that some of the incoming free agent superstars aren’t interested in teaming up with LeBron James in Los Angeles. If the Lakers fail to sign their top targets, they could be forced to go after second-tier free agents. According to Frank Urbina of HoopsHype, Nikola Vucevic wouldn’t be a terrible “fallback option” for the Lakers next summer.
“The big man can score from all three levels, dominates the glass, protects the paint and is an underrated distributor, making him an attractive option for a Los Angeles team that lacked a second efficient high-scoring option outside of their best player. Speaking of which, setting picks for LeBron James could help Vucevic unlock another level to his game and make him even more efficient. After all, we did just see JaVale McGee (another free-agent big man this summer) put up a career year as a Laker; the idea of Vucevic getting a similar LeBron-aided boost is downright scary, but a very real possibility if the marriage does happen.”
It would definitely be not a surprise if the Lakers really consider signing Nikola Vucevic. When the 2018-19 NBA season is officially over, two of the Lakers’ big men, JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler, will become unrestricted free agents, leaving Moritz Wagner as the only center on their roster. Nikola Vucevic may not be on the level of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Kawhi Leonard, but he would still be an incredible addition to the Lakers.
Nikola Vucevic would undeniably be an upgrade for JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler, as he would give the Lakers an All-Star caliber center who can knock down shots from beyond the arc. Aside from his ability to space the floor, Vucevic also managed to improve his performance on the defensive end of the floor. This season, where he earned his first NBA All-Star selection, the 28-year-old center averaged 20.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.1 blocks, and 1.0 steals on 51.8 percent shooting from the field, and 36.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.