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?
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Two
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Two / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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3. Jonas Valanciunas, UFA

Easily one of the most under-appreciated talents in the NBA, Jonas Valanciunas has done a fantastic job of adapting to to the changes in the game. For instance: After making just one three-point shot through five seasons, Valanciunas has become a genuine threat from beyond the arc ever since.

Still one of the best offensive rebounders, as well as one of the most skilled post scorers, at his position, Valanciunas could be a captivating fit alongside Anthony Davis.

Valanciunas, 32, averaged 12.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.3 offensive boards, 2.1 assists, and 0.8 blocks in just 23.5 minutes per game this past season. His shooting took a hit, as he knocked down just 30.8 percent of his three-point field goals, but the value is still clear.

On a per 36 basis, Valanciunas averaged 18.7 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 offensive boards, 3.2 assists, and 1.3 blocks.

Valanciunas is the complete package on the offensive end of the floor. A case could be made that he's actually the best player on this list, but at 32 and coming off of an up-and-down 2023-24 season, his ranking takes a hit.

Based on how well Valanciunas would fit with the Lakers, however, it's at least worth seeing if he'd be willing to take a chance on proving himself at the mid-level exception after making $15.435 million and averaging just 23.5 minutes per appearance this past season.

Perhaps a more expensive, yet still cost-effective sign-and-trade could be an option, as well.