It is important to note that we are defining "bargain-bin" players as those who can likely be signed to a minimum contract. The players on this list may not even be worthy of a starting job.
The term "best" takes on a different meaning, depending on what other moves the team makes first.
For example, if Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James—or both, who knows—decides to bring his talents to Tinsel Town, then the Lakers will target rim protectors and shooters to place around him.
But for the purposes of this exercise, we will take the word "best" literally.
The following three players are the best bargain-bin finds for L.A. in a vacuum, assuming that the roster looks just the way it does now.
Let's play blind resume.
Player B is Jimmer Fredette, and he can be had at one-fourth the price.
Plus, he's not out six to seven months with a torn rotator cuff like Mills is.
Fredette and Mills are two peas in a pod. Both are diminutive shoot-first (and second...and maybe third, too) guards who love hoisting triples, are never afraid to pull the trigger and won't play a lick of defense.
Fredette can absolutely have the same impact on a team that Mills had for the Spurs last season.
He would have led the league in three-point percentage if he had taken the minimum number of attempts to qualify and showed improvement in other areas as well.
The former college standout upped his assist rate to an acceptable level for a pseudo-point guard. Plus, he attempted more shots inside the arc than ever before and made a significantly higher percentage of them than he had previously.
You can't play him big minutes and have to always find a safe place to stash him on defense, but he could become, like Mills, one of NBA's best irrational confidence guys—a sparkplug who can score 10 points in two minutes and change the momentum of a game.
Remember, Mills didn't put it all together until his fifth year in the league and played in all of 16 games in his third season. Fredette just concluded his third NBA campaign.
The moral of the story is that the league shouldn't give up on Jimmer. The Lakers could unearth a gem in Fredette.
Right now may be a great time to buy low on Brandon Rush.
He is coming off of two lost seasons after blowing out his knee two games into the 2012-13 season and then not being able to get on the court with the Utah Jazz last season.
The Kansas product had finally figured it out in his last healthy campaign.
Rush shot 50 percent from the field and 45 percent from deep in 2012. He joined Steve Nash as the only player to achieve the 50-45 milestone in the past decade and became just the 10th player ever to do so, per Basketball-Reference.com.
His 62.8 percent true shooting percentage trailed only Manu Ginobili and James Harden among all NBA guards who played at least 30 games that season.
Rush also became the Golden State Warriors' top perimeter defender, giving opposing wings a tough time with his length and physicality. He posted a blocked-shot percentage which rivaled Dwyane Wade in his peak.
Two years removed from major knee surgery, Rush is ready to step back into the spotlight.
The league may have forgotten about Rush, but he just turned 29 and could return to being one of the league's premier three-and-D wings.
It won't cost the Lakers much to find out.
The Lakers have some familiarity with Chris Douglas-Roberts, who attended training camp with L.A. two years ago.
However, after spending two-and-a-half seasons bouncing around the basketball world, CDR returned to the NBA for the second half of 2014 as a brand-new player.
Douglas-Roberts became a key rotation cog for the Charlotte then-Bobcats as they made a push for the postseason.
He flashed a newly manufactured three-point shot, knocking down 39 percent of his treys and posting the same exact true shooting percentage as Dwyane Wade, Wes Matthews and Patty Mills, per NBA.com.
He played well during Charlotte's brief stint in the playoffs too, averaging just a shade under 20 points per 36 minutes, while shooting nearly 70 percent from the field and making half of his threes.
At 27 years of age, Douglas-Roberts is hitting his prime. And—as he proved last season—he still has room to grow as a player.
Los Angeles can give him another shot and see if he's a keeper this time around.
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