Lakers Rumors: LA 'Focusing on Two-Way Wings' When Free Agency Opens

Erin WalshJune 29, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 18: A general view of the Los Angeles Lakers logo on the court during the fourth quarter of the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center on February 18, 2021 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. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)
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NBA free agency begins Thursday, and the Los Angeles Lakers will have a number of tough decisions to make following a disappointing 2021-22 campaign. However, it appears they know which type of player they want to add when the market opens.

The Purple and Gold are expected to target two-way wings with their taxpayer mid-level exception, according to The Athletic's Jovan Buha:

"With free agency less than 48 hours away, the Lakers are focusing on two-way wings, according to league sources. Most of the hypothetical scenarios for their taxpayer midlevel exception have been centered on signing a wing or two who could come in and start next to [LeBron] James and [Anthony] Davis."

The Lakers will not have much wiggle room to add any significant players this summer after Russell Westbrook opted in to his $47 million player option for the 2022-23 campaign. The franchise has attempted to trade the veteran point guard, but there haven't been many suitors.

Buha previously noted that the Lakers improved their three-point shooting and defensive versatility through the 2022 NBA draft by selecting Michigan State's Max Christie in the second round.

However, that pick probably won't pay off for the Lakers until some time down the road, if at all, which is why they need to add a two-way wing this summer.

It's unclear who the Lakers might be targeting in free agency. However, Gary Harris, Otto Porter Jr. and Danuel House could be intriguing options for the Purple and Gold.

Harris spent the 2021-22 season with the Orlando Magic, averaging 11.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 61 games while shooting 38.4 percent from deep. The 27-year-old is a solid defender and also shot 41.3 percent on catch-and-shoot thees last season.

Porter, meanwhile, spent the 2021-22 campaign with the Golden State Warriors, helping the franchise win the 2022 NBA title. Like Harris, the 29-year-old also has a solid mix of three-point shooting and defensive prowess. He averaged 8.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals in 63 games while shooting 37 percent from deep.

House could be an option for the Purple and Gold as they previously showed interest in him in December. He spent the 2021-22 campaign split between the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz, averaging 5.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 42 games while shooting 37.6 percent from deep.

Any of these players would help improve the Lakers' three-point shooting and defense. However, it's unclear how much they will be looking for in free agency.