Lakers Rumors: Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala and Carmelo Among Free Agents Eyeing LA

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 1, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 25: Dwight Howard #39 of the Philadelphia 76ers walks off the court before the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 25, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala and Carmelo Anthony are reportedly among the veteran free agents who could be targets of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2021 NBA offseason.

Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday other names linked to the Lakers include Patty Mills, Goran Dragic, Wayne Ellington, Trevor Ariza and Jeff Green as the team works to rebuild its depth after the blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook.

Although the Westbrook trade was the marquee move of the summer for L.A., the front office still has a lot of work to do to fill out the roster since it only has four players formally under contract for the 2021-22 season: Westbrook, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Marc Gasol.

Alfonzo McKinnie is on a non-guaranteed deal, while Talen Horton-Tucker, Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok are restricted free agents.

So there are plenty of roster spots to fill and limited financial resources to make it happen, which means the Lakers are going to lean heavily on veterans who may be willing to sacrifice money on a short-term deal to have a serious chance to chase a championship.

Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported Saturday that DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay are among the other veterans who've shown initial indications they may "forgo higher salary opportunities elsewhere" to join the Lakers.

In other words, the concerns L.A. gave up too much of its depth to acquire Westbrook may prove unfounded if the front office is able to fill out the roster with proven, effective role players.

The biggest key will be making sure the team signs enough outside shooters. James and Westbrook are at their best when attacking the paint, and Davis has a reliable mid-range game, but he's a career 31.2 percent shooter from beyond the arc.

That's why players like Anthony (40.9 percent on threes in 2020-21) and Mills (37.5) will likely be near the top of the Lakers' list when free-agent negotiations open Monday.

Howard, who was part of L.A.'s title-winning squad in 2020, and Iguodala, who won three titles as a member of the Golden State Warriors, aren't outside shooting threats but would bring championship experience and the ability to fill rotation spots.

All told, the Lakers made a bet their star power would attract other players on team-friendly deals, and the rumor mill suggests that may pay off with some high-profile additions in the coming weeks.