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Lakers Potential Targets to Fill 2021-22 Roster

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The Los Angeles Lakers have maintained an active offseason following their first-round exit in the playoffs to the Phoenix Suns. With familiar faces such as Trevor Ariza, Kent Bazemore, Wayne Ellington, Dwight Howard and Rajon Rondo returning to Los Angeles, the front office also added the likes of Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony among others in hopes of a championship run.

To this point, the Lakers still have three remaining spots open on their roster entering training camp. According to reports, Los Angeles will leave one spot open entering the regular season. They did this last season as well, partially due to the hard cap situation. Here, we take a look at which players are still on the open market and could end up with the Lakers at some point:

Wesley Matthews (Guard)

Matthews, a 12-year NBA veteran, has played a total of 58 games with the Lakers. Averaging only 4.8 points per game last season, the numbers for Matthews were at a career-high in most categories. The Lakers have a need for assistance shooting around the perimeter and from beyond the arc, but Matthews shot 33% from three-point range last season.

To consider re-signing Matthews entering the new season, the Lakers would need to uphold the expectation that he could resemble his shooting percentages from the 2018 season with the Dallas Mavericks; 52% from the field and 38% from outside. Matthews is an affordable option who fits the narrative that the Lakers will roster experienced veterans.

Kenneth Faried (Forward)

According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers will be holding a workout for Faried this week. Having last played an NBA game during the 2018-19 season. Faried averaged 10.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 37 games with the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets. During his time with the Portland Trail Blazers in the Las Vegas Summer League, the 31-year old averaged 5.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest.

Considering his current stock in the NBA, the Lakers would be more likely to present Faried with a non-guaranteed contract. With Anthony Davis, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan on the roster, do the Lakers necessarily need a small-ball center? During the 2019-20 season, Los Angeles did often play Davis alongside two other centers. At this point, however, the expectations are low that the Lakers will add another big man with one of their three remaining roster spots.

James Ennis (Guard)

According to Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype, the Lakers have been among the teams interested in signing Ennis over the last few days. At this time, Ennis also has interest from the Chicago Bulls and Orlando Magic.

Ennis is a great option in transition, where he averaged 1.17 points per possession in transition plays. He is also efficient from the outside, finishing 43.3% from three-point range last season with the Magic. The Lakers have an obvious need for depth at the wing position, as Kent Bazemore and Talen Horton-Tucker are projected to play behind LeBron James.

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