Los Angeles Lakers: How Can They Improve in 2021-22?

The Los Angeles Lakers did not have a magical ending in 2020-21, but are there ways to get better next season?

Sure, you might think they’ll chase after a big name, but it may not be a slam dunk (no pun intended).

LA may want to find bargains and avoid another mega-deal.

From Dennis Schroder to Andre Drummond, the Lakers might have to let some guys go and reshape their roster to the best of their ability.

Let’s jump into some offseason options LA might have.

Kawhi Leonard

As of now we’re waiting for the conclusion to the LA Clippers-Dallas Mavericks series. But, Kawhi could opt out of his deal with the Clips.

He signed a short-term deal back in 2019 and joined forces with Paul George.

Of course, the Clippers haven’t won any rings with that pairing, so it’s been a disappoint to say the least.

Leonard would help both LeBron James and Anthony Davis. And when James retires maybe Laker fans will have some comfort knowing that together AD and Kawhi could bring another title to Hollywood.

Yeah, AD has to be healthy and Kawhi needs to rise up instead of simmering like he has done at times with the Clips.

There’s no doubt the Lakers need some extra shooting power and adding Kawhi will help with that. The question is, “how much money would the Lakers want to commit to Kawhi?”

Add a bunch of shooters

Okay, so Quinn Cook, Wesley Matthews, and Alonso McKinney don’t get Laker fans excited.

Losing Schroder won’t help matters and Alex Caruso was never defined as a perimeter talent.

But, that’s why the purple and gold have to think about veterans like J.J. Redick, Louis Williams, and Tony Snell.

It’s monumental for the Lakers to give their perimeter a boost and hopefully it leads to more success.

A New PG?

The Lakers could sign a point guard to assist LeBron, whether it’s Derrick Rose, Spencer Dinwiddie, or Kyle Lowry.

Dinwiddie wasn’t really effective in Brooklyn during the three games he played. He suffered a partially torn right ACL against Charlotte on Dec. 28.

The Lakers could choose to take a flyer on Dinwiddie and maybe he pans out as a new role player for them.

Rose would be a nice bench player for LA after playing well for the New York Knicks.

Lowry was a staple in Toronto and helped the club win its first title in their history just two years ago.

Maybe there’s a chance Chris Paul opts out of his deal with the Phoenix Suns in order to help his buddy LeBron.

Then, there’s the potential of LA executing a trade with Portland in order to acquire star guard Damian Lillard, which is huge for Dame’s basketball and rap career.

Find a Big Man

I liked the acquisition of Andre Drummond, but if he doesn’t return what should the Lakers do?

I guess LA could bring back Marc Gasol, Dwight Howard, or JaVale McGee. But, it would be better to have a younger athlete like Drummond.

Enes Kanter, Robin Lopez, Cody Zeller, and Daniel Theis are all free agents this offseason.

Jusuf Nurkic and Jonas Valanciunas could be trade targets for the Lakers.

Nurkic is a 7-footer who averaged nine rebounds this year. In each of the last two seasons, he averaged a double-double for the Blazers (17.6 PPG and 10.3 RPG in 2020 and 15.6 PPG and 10.4 RPG in 2019.)

Valanciunas posted a double-double as well for Memphis this season. The eight-year center had 17 PPG and 12.5 boards per contest.

The Lakers will have flaws next season, but if they want more banners in the near future they’ll need to get crafty. Maybe they get a star or acquire a lot of veterans who can still play really well. Regardless, they have to make things easier on James and AD, otherwise their title window could be slammed shut for a long time.

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Anthony Fiuza
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