6 Former Lakers the team could reunite with for 2024-25 season

The Los Angeles Lakers have options to improve the roster this offseason. One that should not be overlooked is a reunion with one of the former Lakers still playing at a high level.
Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans
Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans / Tyler Kaufman/GettyImages
1 of 6

An argument could be made that no organization has a stronger list of alumni than the Los Angeles Lakers. The likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Jerry West highlight the countless retired Lakers of legendary stature who either played their entire careers with the franchise or never left once they suited up in the purple and gold.

Beyond the pool of all-time greats, however, are a number of high-quality active players who actually did leave Los Angeles during or just before the primes of their respective careers.

In some instances, players have utilized free agency to move on to other opportunities. In others, the Lakers have traded high-quality contributors in the pursuit of a superstar who can get the organization closer to its annual goal of winning a championship.

In either scenario, stranger twists of fate have happened than a franchise reuniting with players who they may have given up on too soon.

During the 2024 offseason, it would behoove Rob Pelinka and the Lakers to consider which former Lakers could actually be of value to the current vision. Options exist beyond that realm, of course, but closing one's mind to a reunion could mean missing out on an opportunity to add a valuable piece.

That all begins with a player who not only helped the Lakers win a championship in 2020, but ultimately went on to win a second ring in 2023.

1. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Denver Nuggets

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, 31, spent four seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers between 2017 and 2021. During that time, he started 190 of his 292 regular season appearances, as well as all 26 of his postseason games with the Lakers.

There were times at which Caldwell-Pope's inconsistency drew the ire of Lakers fans, but he has firmly cemented himself in recent seasons as one of the best 3-and-D specialists in the NBA.

Caldwell-Pope has shot 38.5 percent or better from beyond the arc in each of the past five seasons. He's shot at least 40.6 percent from distance in three of the past four, including his final year with the Lakers, 2020-21, when he knocked down 41.0 percent of his 293 attempts.

For a Lakers team that ranked 24th in the NBA this season in three-point field goals made, Caldwell-Pope's efficient shooting from beyond the arc would be an invaluable addition.

In addition to being one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA, Caldwell-Pope has established himself as one of the Association's top defensive guards. In 2023-24, he received 11 votes for All-Defense, which is an accurate representation of what he brings to the table.

It's more likely that Caldwell-Pope will sign a multi-year deal at this stage of his career, or even that he'll accept his $15.4 million player option, but it's worth exploring a potential reunion.