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Lakers Rumors: Patty Mills, Wayne Ellington Are 'Prime' Free Agents of Interest

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 2, 2021

AP Photo/Eric Gay

Wayne Ellington and Patty Mills are reportedly "prime free agents of interest" for the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Marc Stein.

The Lakers are looking for good values on the open market with LeBron James, Anthony Davis and now Russell Westbrook taking up much of the salary cap. The team will still have a lot of holes with Marc Gasol and Alfonzo McKinnie the only other players on the active roster.

Stein also reported Dwight Howard returning to the team is "inevitable."

Mills could be a valuable addition after a decade with the San Antonio Spurs, mostly coming off the bench. The 32-year-old can have a similar role in Los Angeles behind Westbrook, leading the second unit while adding another experienced scorer.

The guard averaged 10.8 points and 2.4 assists per game last season while shooting 37.5 percent from three-point range. He also has 90 games of playoff experience, helping the Spurs win the NBA title in 2013-14.

Mills is also showcasing his ability for Team Australia in the Tokyo Olympics, leading the squad to a 3-0 start and a trip to the quarterfinals.

Ellington would be useful thanks to his shooting ability. He hit 42.2 percent of his three-pointers last season. The 33-year-old has already appeared for eight different organizations in his NBA career, including the Lakers in 2014-15, but he has also shown the ability to stretch a defense with his shooting (38.2 percent from three in his career).

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Shooting is a huge need for Los Angeles, with James, Davis and Westbrook likely creating spacing issues on their own. Adding players who can hit an open shot would keep defenses honest and create a more efficient offense.

With Caldwell-Pope (41.0 three-point percentage last season) heading to the Wizards and Alex Caruso (40.1 percent) potentially leaving in free agency, Mills and Ellington could be impact additions for the title contender.

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