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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1. Isaiah Hartenstein, UFA

An argument could be made that no player has done more for their reputation over the past two years than Isaiah Hartenstein. After beginning his career by playing for four teams between 2018 and 2022, Hartenstein has become one of the most sought-after free agents in the class of 2024.

The New York Knicks will do whatever they can to re-sign Hartenstein, but the Los Angeles Lakers should at least kick the tires to explore a potential pairing with Anthony Davis.

Of the players who appeared in at least 40 games this past season, Hartenstein ranked third in offensive rebounding percentage. He also ranked fourth among centers in assist ratio. That combination of skills has enabled him to become a prized free agent.

An elite offensive rebounder and one of the best passing centers in the NBA, Hartenstein finds ways to contribute without needing to take the available shots for himself.

That makes him the perfect frontcourt partner for Davis, who ranks among the best scorers and defensive players in the NBA. Their skill sets would complement one another beautifully, with Hartenstein showing the consistent willingness to do the dirty work and thus help preserve Davis' energy.

The Lakers would need to execute a sign-and-trade to get this done, and it's fair to question if they could even offer anything the Knicks would be interested in. Nevertheless, Hartenstein is a top name in free agency for a reason.

At the very least, the Lakers should see if a sign-and-trade is possible.