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
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Realistic Lakers target: De’Anthony Melton

This should provide a bit of optimism to a fanbase that is likely feeling less than enthusiastic about the options that the Los Angeles Lakers have in free agency. De'Anthony Melton is not only a high-quality option, but he may actually be the most ideal fit of any realistic target.

Melton is a defensive-minded wing defender who ranks among the best 3-and-D specialists in the NBA, which thus makes him an excellent option for Los Angeles to consider.

Melton, 25, has spent his six NBA seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies, and Philadelphia 76ers. After shooting a dreadful percentage from beyond the arc during his first two seasons in the Association, he's shot 38.3 percent from beyond the arc on 5.0 attempts per game over the past four.

Putting his 6'8" wingspan to use, Melton complements his sharpshooting from beyond the arc by being willing and able to defend either backcourt position.

In terms of how a player this good could land in the Lakers' lap, Melton is coming off of a season in which he missed 44 games due to a back injury. As he looks to rebuild his image and potentially earn a bigger payday in 2025, the North Hollywood native and former USC Trojan may be interested in returning to Southern California on a one-year deal.

If that proves to be the case, then the Lakers would be landing a player who could anchor the perimeter defense and provide more freedom for the offensive players to operate.

If the Lakers were to trade for one of their rumored targets, i.e. Donovan Mitchell or Trae Young, Melton's defense would be invaluable alongside them. If not, then Melton would still be a perfect complement to Austin Reaves, as well as—and most importantly—Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

It's a realistic option for the Lakers to pursue, as well as one that could greatly help a team that ranked 24th in the NBA in three-point field goals made and 25th in opponent three-point field goal percentage in 2023-24.