5 Players the Lakers wish they signed over Gabe Vincent in free agency

Gabe Vincent's injury has the Lakers regretting signing him, but who would have been better?
Los Angeles Lakers, Gabe Vincent
Los Angeles Lakers, Gabe Vincent / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers regret signing Gabe Vincent to a three-year $33 million contract in free agency. He helped the Heat reach the NBA Finals in 2023 but has played just five games for the Lakers. Vincent is set to undergo knee surgery and be out until February. His team has lost five of their last six and may not have time to wait.

The Lakers could look to move from Vincent before the trade deadline, but he may not be healthy. No team will be eager to trade for a guard coming off knee surgery with two years left on his deal. Rob Pelinka and company would have to use him as a salary-matcher, but even that won’t be easy.

There is certainly some regret because Vincent cannot stay on the floor, but who could the Lakers have signed instead? These five options look enticing.

5. Kevin Love

Love was teammates with King James for four years in Cleveland. They brought the Cavaliers their lone championship and made four NBA Finals appearances. Love knows LeBron well and was always willing to sacrifice for team success.

The 6’8 big man was an unrestricted free agent in the 2023 offseason before signing a two-year $7.8 million contract with the Heat. He has a player option in the summer of 2024. Love went to Miami in the buyout market last season and helped them reach the NBA Finals. Convincing him to leave wouldn’t have been easy, but the persuasion of his friend may have done the trick.

They could have signed Kevin Love for virtually the veteran minimum to improve their rebounding, floor spacing, and experience. The 35-year-old can no longer play massive minutes, but he is a solid rotation piece who knows how to win. Love is averaging 18.7 minutes per game and continues to shine in his role.