Los Angeles Lakers: 3 free agents to replace Rajon Rondo if he leaves

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
4 of 4
(Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

3. Shabazz Napier

LeBron James was not shy in sharing how much he loved Shabazz Napier before the 2014 NBA Draft. The Miami Heat did end up drafting Napier, however, LeBron James wound up leaving for Cleveland and the two never paired up.

The beginning of Napier’s career has been rather uneventful as well, so you might be confused to even see his name on this list. However, after averaging a combined 4.3 points per game in his first three seasons, Napier has gotten better and better.

That has culminated in a pretty solid 2019-20 campaign in which Napier averaged 10.3 points, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 24 minutes per game.

He does have some flaws to his game. He is not a great three-point shooter, which is a lot more important now than it was five years ago. He is also a bit undersized at just 6’0″ but the Lakers are big and that won’t be a huge issue if he is coming off the bench for 10-15 minutes.

At the end of the day, though, Napier is a young guard that has already shown that he is willing to buy-in and be a facilitator first and that is exactly what the Lakers would need him to do. He is also a capable on-ball defender, although I would not go as far as to say he is a great defensive player.

40 greatest Lakers of all-time. dark. Next

Napier would be more than capable of giving the Lakers what they need out of him in a smaller role. Getting someone to play a smaller role might just be the route to go to open the door for Caruso to have a bigger role.