The first day of NBA free agency is officially in the books and it was a crazy day. The first day of free agency is always the busiest day of the offseason and the Los Angeles Lakers were one of the busiest teams.
Los Angeles brought in the likes of Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish while also re-signing Rui Hachimura. However, the team also lost players from last year’s team in Dennis Schroder and Troy Brown Jr.
There was plenty of movement throughout the league and while fans will spin the signings LA made as positives, there are still some free agents that would have been perfect in LA that ended up elsewhere.
Lakers should have signed Yuta Watanabe
Yuta Watanabe made sense as a flier signing for the Los Angeles Lakers last offseason but there were too many unknowns with his game. You would think that after a breakout season, he would have been high on the Lakers’ priority list this offseason.
There is no telling whether or not the Lakers were ever interested but at the end of the day, Watanabe signed with the Phoenix Suns. This was such a great pickup for a Suns team that desperately needed to add depth around its star core.
Los Angeles really lacked three-point shooting off the bench outside of Hachimura last season and Watanabe could have provided that. The 28-year-old forward shot a staggering 44.4% from three in 16 minutes per game last season.
Watanabe would not have been a massive minutes-eater on the Lake Show but he would have been a great depth piece that could have worked his way into the playoff rotation. It is better to take a chance on someone like Watanabe, especially after last season, rather than sign older players to the veteran minimum.