Lakers free agency: Ranking the best available free agent centers in 2024

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the market for a center who can play alongside Anthony Davis. Who are the best available centers in free agency?
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The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of an offseason in which cap space is going to be limited. For as disappointing as that truth may be, there are available avenues the franchise can navigate in its attempts to acquire coveted free agents.

If one of those opportunities were to present itself this summer, there's a strong chance that the Lakers would prioritize finding a center to play alongside Anthony Davis.

Davis, who was named to the All-NBA Second Team and All-Defensive First Team in 2023-24, is among the best players in the Association. His two-way value is close to unmatched at the center position, where he played 97 percent of his minutes this past season.

Davis has made it clear that he would like to play less center during the regular season, however, and free agency could help Los Angeles honor that request.

Christian Wood has already opted into his player option for the 2024-25 season, giving Los Angeles a potentially productive big to pair with Davis. Jarred Vanderbilt is also under contract, albeit as more of a modern 4.

Thankfully for the Lakers, there are some captivating names at the center position who could be signed or acquired via sign-and-trade this summer.

5. Moritz Wagner, Team Option

The Los Angeles Lakers selected Moritz Wagner at No. 25 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. Wagner played just 48 games with the Lakers, but six years later, the time could be right for him to make a return to Los Angeles.

A tremendous offensive rebounder who would help the Lakers address a critical flaw, Wagner has the tools to be a key contributor off the bench.

Wagner, 27, finished the 2023-24 regular season with averages of 10.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.5 offensive boards, and 1.2 assists in 17.7 minutes per game. That production translated to 22.1 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.0 offensive boards, and 2.4 assists per 36 minutes.

Wagner hasn't yet established himself as a consistent defender, but his offensive production on a per-36 basis is nothing short of intriguing.

The Lakers finished the 2023-24 regular season ranked dead last in second-chance points, which offers a clear indication of the void he'd fill. Wagner's incessant energy and intensity when crashing the offensive glass would complement Davis to perfection.

The Lakers would need to figure out how Wagner fits on defense, but if it's determined that he could be of value, this could be a quality one-year signing at an affordable cost.