5 Potential Lakers free agent targets with ties to Rob Pelinka

Rob Pelinka is entering what may be the most important offseason of his Los Angeles Lakers career. Could some of his former clients help the Lakers in 2024?
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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When the Los Angeles Lakers hired Rob Pelinka to become the new general manager, the wheels began to spin on the speculation front. Pelinka had built a wide network of connections as an agent, thus resulting in the belief that he could convince some of the players he previously represented to join the Lakers.

As the 2024 offseason approaches, that belief will again be put to the test as Pelinka attempts to build a roster that can compete for a championship.

The launching point for the Lakers is certainly more desirable than what most organizations have to start with. Anthony Davis is coming off of an All-NBA Second Team and All-Defensive First Team season, while the timeless LeBron James secured All-NBA Third Team honors.

The absence of cap flexibility is a hurdle that Pelinka will have to work to overcome, but building around two of the 15 best players in the NBA is an enviable task.

In order to do so, Pelinka may look to some of his former clients as potential free agency options. There's certainly an intriguing list of players in that regard, as the Lakers general manager has represented some of the top talents around the Association.

That all begins with a former Laker who could return to Los Angeles as Pelinka looks to add depth to a generally thin interior.

Andre Drummond, Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond is one of the most productive rebounders in NBA history. Many have debated his fit in a prominent role in 2023-24, but an undeniable truth is that when Drummond is on the court, he will dominate the boards.

That makes him at least somewhat intriguing for the Lakers, which would certainly benefit from adding an elite glass-crasher in 2024.

Drummond finished the 2023-24 regular season with averages of 8.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.4 offensive boards, and 0.9 steals per game. That would be commendable outright, but context makes what Drummond achieved statistically even more impressive.

Drummond posted those statistics in just 17.1 minutes per game, meaning his per 36 averages translate to 17.7 points, 18.9 rebounds, 7.1 offensive boards, and 1.9 steals—plus 1.3 blocks.

For what it's worth, the Bulls were 3.4 points per 100 possessions better with Drummond on the court than without him. The right coach could find a place for arguably the best rebounder in the league to play in spurts and help change the momentum of a game.

Considering the Lakers finished 30th in both offensive rebounds and second-chance points, Drummond may not be the worst option at the minimum salary in free agency.

Drummond being a former Pelinka client makes it an at least somewhat realistic option.