Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Malcolm Brogdon, More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJune 27, 2019

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) and JR Smith (5) in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in Phoenix. The Cavaliers defeated the Suns 129-107. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers have themselves a pair of legitimate superstars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. They would like to add a third star to the mix in free agency, but that could prove difficult due to salary cap constraints.

Los Angeles is trying to free up cap space in order to pursue a max-contract player, but according to Chris Mannix of SI.com, their efforts have yielded little.

"The Lakers have shopped the spare parts they have remaining, per league sources, but with a limited ability to sweeten a deal with draft picks, talks have gone nowhere.," Mannix wrote.

If the Lakers cannot free up space ahead of free agency's June 30 start date, they may need to turn their attention to surrounding James and Davis with adequate role players—and they need to upgrade the supporting cast even if they do land a third star.

This leads us to former teammates of James, JR Smith and Kyle Korver. Both can provide outside shooting help—something Los Angeles sorely lacks—and both could be targets for the Lakers, according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. Smith, in particular, could soon be a Laker.

"It is my belief that he will end up with the Lakers," Haynes said.

While the 33-year-old Smith probably isn't the fans' idea of a franchise building block, 35-year-old Carmelo Anthony is probably even less so. However, Anthony could indeed be a secondary target for Los Angeles this offseason.

"Things can always change, but most executives monitoring Anthony's free agency see the Lakers as the most likely destination for the 10-time All Star," Ian Begley of SNY.com recently wrote.

Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Though Anthony is no longer the dominant player he once was, he is still capable of adding some potency to the Lakers offense. He averaged 13.44 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season while shooting 40.5 percent from the floor. At the least, he could add a spark off the bench if Anthony is willing to take a backup role.

When it comes to filling holes in the starting five, the Lakers also need to consider secondary options. While players like D'Angelo Russell and Kyrie Irving seem like optimal replacements for the departed Lonzo Ball, Los Angeles simply may not have the cap space to replace them.

This is why Milwaukee Bucks restricted free agent and point guard Malcolm Brogdon could become an option.

During a recent appearance with the Silver Screen and Roll podcast, Marc Stein of the New York Times mentioned Brogdon as a player the Lakers are high on.

"I've heard a rumble or two that don't be surprised if (the Lakers) make a run at Brogdon as a restricted free agent," Stein said. "They would be a team that would be interested in him. I think it's going to take a really big offer sheet to convince Milwaukee not to match, because they obviously are very fond of Brogdon."

While Brogdon wouldn't provide as much immediate impact as a guy like Russell—he averaged just 15.6 points per game this past season—he is only 26 years old and could conceivably be the kind of franchise building block that Smith and Anthony are not.