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
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James Harden

Easily the biggest name on this list, James Harden is one of the most high-profile clients that Rob Pelinka has a history with. A former league MVP with three scoring titles and two seasons as the NBA assists leader, Harden is a lock to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Set to turn 35 in August, the question is simply a matter of whether or not he has enough left in the tank to help the Los Angeles Lakers achieve their goals.

Harden led the NBA in assists per game as recently as 2022-23, which certainly implies that he can still play at a high level. This past season, he sacrificed his scoring numbers as he averaged fewer than 20 points per game for the first time since 2011-12.

Even still, averages of 16.6 points, 8.5 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.6 three-point field goals made on 38.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc are difficult to overlook.

Pairing Harden with Anthony Davis and LeBron James would give the Lakers no shortage of household names. Concerns likely exist surrounding Harden's age and the less desirable aspects of his postseason résumé, but the trio would at least be compelling to watch.

The primary hurdle for any potential trade, of course, would be money—as the Lakers don't have much to throw around in a straight signing and Harden is one of the headliners of a thin class of free agents.

Harden to the Lakers may not be in the cards, but it's a possibility that Pelinka is likely to explore as thoroughly as possible.