1 Dream, 1 reach, 1 realistic free agent for Lakers to target

The Los Angeles Lakers have limited, but not nonexistent, options in free agency. What might the perfect free agency period look like on the basis of dreams, reaches, and realistic aspirations?
Los Angeles Lakers v Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Lakers v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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A reach target for the Lakers: Isaiah Hartenstein

The Los Angeles Lakers won the 2020 NBA championship by outworking teams inside. With Anthony Davis playing at an MVP-caliber level and the likes of Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee, and Markieff Morris providing support at the 4 and 5 spots, the Lakers dominated teams on the glass and protected the rim as well as any squad in the postseason.

The odds of this happening are admittedly minimal, but in the spirit of reaching for a free agency fit, the Lakers should at least kick the tires on a potential Isaiah Hartenstein signing.

Hartenstein was one of the breakout performers of the 2023-24 season with the New York Knicks. With Mitchell Robinson battling injuries, Hartenstein stepped up and cemented his status as one of the best rebounding bigs in the Association.

The former second-round draft pick averaged 7.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.3 offensive boards, 2.5 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.1 blocks in just 25.3 minutes per game while shooting 64.4 percent from the field.

Those numbers translate to 11.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, 4.6 offensive boards, 3.6 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.6 blocks per 36 minutes. With a career average of 4.3 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes, it's clear that Hartenstein is every bit the monster on the glass that he seems.

He's also one of the best passing big men in the NBA.

Considering the Lakers ranked dead last in second-chance points in 2023-24, adding a player who was fifth in the NBA in offensive rebounds per game is of undeniable appeal. Throw in the fact that his passing ability would add a new layer to Los Angeles' offense and the fit is clear.

Unfortunately, Hartenstein is likely to be out of the Lakers' price range, and thus, is a reach of a target.