5 Free agents the Lakers definitely must sign after 2024 NBA Draft

The Los Angeles Lakers landed one of the biggest steals of the 2024 NBA Draft. Next is finding the free agents who can complement their new acquisition.
New Orleans Pelicans v Atlanta Hawks
New Orleans Pelicans v Atlanta Hawks / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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De'Anthony Melton, UFA

De'Anthony Melton is a player who, contextually, could potentially be acquired for the mid-level exception. Even if a sign-and-trade is required, however, the Los Angeles Lakers would be wise to explore his potential addition to the team.

Melton is one of the best 3-and-D players in the NBA and could be the answer to what Los Angeles is looking for on both ends of the floor.

Melton is a 6'3" and 200-pound wing with a near 6'9" wingspan and tremendous defensive instincts. He's willing and able to pick up players at multiple positions, making life difficult at the point of attack and creating offense via his work in the passing lanes.

On the other end of the floor, Melton is a career 36.9 percent three-point shooter who has converted 38.3 percent of his attempts over the past four seasons.

The only reason Melton might be available on a one-year prove-it deal is the fact that he missed 44 games with a back injury in 2023-24. He could still get a long-term contract, but it's worth seeing if he'd be willing to sign with Los Angeles to rebuild his market value.

If it turns out that the Lakers might have to ship out a player such as Gabe Vincent for Melton in a sign-and-trade, then it's a possibility worth seriously considering.