Lakers free agency: Ranking the best available 3-and-D wings in 2024

The Los Angeles Lakers could be in the market for 3-and-D wings. Who are the best options in free agency and how likely are the Lakers to land one of them?
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Four
Denver Nuggets v Minnesota Timberwolves - Game Four / David Berding/GettyImages
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3. De'Anthony Melton, UFA

If not for the injury he sustained in 2023-24, De'Anthony Melton would be an unrealistic target for the Los Angeles Lakers. He's one of the best 3-and-D players in the NBA, equipped with the length, intensity, and smooth outside shot to hurt opposing teams on both ends of the floor.

Melton's injury may open the door for him to be open to a one-year prove-it deal in a major market, however, and the Lakers are the perfect destination for him.

Melton, 26, is a North Hollywood native who played his lone collegiate season at USC. Since being selected at No. 46 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft, he's evolved from non-shooter to sharpshooter and earned the reputation of being a high-level defender.

At 6'3" and 200 pounds with a 6'8" wingspan, Melton has the physical tools to defend multiple perimeter positions and make plays in the passing lanes.

Over the past four seasons, Melton has averaged 10.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.9 three-point field goals made in 24.5 minutes per game on .414/.383/.789 shooting. He's helped his team reach the playoffs in each of those four campaigns.

After watching Malik Monk get paid after rebuilding his image with the Los Angeles Lakers, perhaps Melton will see a similar path for himself this summer.