Key Lakers player petitions for return to Los Angeles in 2024-25

The Los Angeles Lakers have a number of players entering free agency in 2024. One of those key Lakers is hoping to return to the team for the 2024-25 season.
Los Angeles Lakers v Toronto Raptors
Los Angeles Lakers v Toronto Raptors / Cole Burston/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers have 10 players who are currently eligible to enter free agency. Several player options could cut that figure down, but the notion that the Lakers will look like an entirely different team in 2024-25 is one that's grounded in reality.

As general manager Rob Pelinka evaluates his options to build a new-look team, one key Lakers player from 2023-24 is making sure Los Angeles knows that he wants to return.

Previous head coach Darvin Ham tinkered with his lineups throughout the 2023-24 regular season, with seven different player starting at least 26 games. One of the players who proved that a rotational fit is essential is Taurean Prince, who thrived as the team's sixth man.

In an interview with Trevor Lane of Lakers Nation, Prince made it clear that he would like build upon that success by re-signing with Los Angeles for the 2024-25 season.

"The quality of life in Los Angeles is something that myself and my family hasn't had in probably like three or four seasons. So to stay here would definitely be No. 1...I for sure want to be a Laker, 100%."

The Lakers' resources are limited in terms of how they can bring Prince back, but his return would would be a positive for a roster that may experience significant turnover this offseason.

Prince's first season with the Lakers was a tale of two roles. He played relatively well as a starter, averaging 9.6 points in 30.5 minutes while shooting 43.1 percent from the field and a more than respectable 38.4 percent from beyond the arc.

When Prince moved to the second unit, however, he became a legitimate sharpshooter, knocking down 46.9 percent of his field goals and 42.9 percent of his threes.

For what it's worth, Prince's plus-minus also improved from -5.3 as a starter to +3.7 as a reserve.

Prince averaged 21.1 minutes per game off the bench and provided immense value during that time. In addition to shooting the lights out, his averages translated to 13.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals, and 2.5 three-point field goals made per 36 minutes.

As the Lakers look to build a balanced roster around Anthony Davis and LeBron James, bringing Prince back could go a long way towards accomplishing that feat.

Prince struggled from beyond the arc in the playoffs, but he shot 58.3 percent on two-point field goals and ranked sixth on the team in minutes per game. The Lakers may look for a more traditional sixth man this offseason, but Prince has proven that his per-minute value adds something positive.

A 6'6" and 218-pound forward with a 7'0" wingspan and an efficient shot from beyond the arc, Prince is a player whose interest in returning to the Lakers should be mutual.