After suffering a huge disappointment in LeBron James’ first season wearing the purple and gold, the Los Angeles Lakers became more aggressive in upgrading their roster in the 2019 NBA offseason. As they failed to secure a deal before the February NBA trade deadline, the Lakers waited till the summer to acquire All-Star center Anthony Davis by sending a trade package including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Though they weren’t able to sign Kawhi Leonard in the 2019 NBA free agency period, the Lakers still managed to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with a quality supporting cast that could help them fully dominate the Western Conference and win the NBA championship next season. However, like most NBA teams, there are still some areas that the Lakers need to improve on their roster. According to Trevor Lane of Lakers Nation, the Lakers are currently in dire need of a defensive-minded wingman who could take charge when LeBron James needs to rest.
“However, one area they haven’t addressed is a defensive-minded small forward. The Lakers badly need someone who can slide in while James is on the bench or be turned to when they need to cool off one of the league’s best swingmen. [Danny] Green can handle that job to a degree but his efforts would certainly be enhanced if another 3-and-D player was on the roster in a supporting role. Additionally, another wing defender would go a long way towards ensuring that James wouldn’t have to burn energy defending the opponent’s best player and could instead focus on running the team’s offense.”
Lane believes that the Lakers could immediately address the problem by adding former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala on their roster. From the time the Golden State Warriors traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Lakers were heavily linked to Iguodala. The veteran small forward may currently be an official member of the Grizzlies but with the team currently in the middle of a rebuilding process, most people see him leaving Memphis sooner rather than later.
Iguodala would be an incredible addition to the Lakers as he perfectly fits the definition of a defensive-minded wingman. Being in the NBA Finals for the last five years, Iguodala would be a huge help in achieving the Lakers’ goal in the 2019-20 NBA season. Iguodala may no longer be in his prime, but he would still give the Lakers a legitimate threat from beyond the arc and someone who could be tasked to guard the opposing team’s best player.
As of now, the Lakers are keeping one roster spot open in case the Grizzlies decide to buy out Andre Iguodala’s contract. However, the Grizzlies currently have no intention of letting the veteran small forward walk away as an unrestricted free agent. Instead of losing him without getting anything in return, the Grizzlies are actively shopping Iguodala with the hope of acquiring future draft picks that could help them speed up the rebuilding process.