Reunion with this former Laker could get Los Angeles over the hump

The Lakers should try to bring this big man back to LA.
Los Angeles Lakers logo
Los Angeles Lakers logo / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Even with all the free agency pandemonium that has transpired since June 30, the Los Angeles Lakers have not made a significant roster change. 

Several names were linked to the Lakers including Klay Thompson, James Harden, Jonas Valančiūnas, and even DeMar DeRozan. Well, three of those players are officially off the table, as Valančiūnas signed with the Washington Wizards, Harden re-signed with the Clippers and Thompson is off to the Mavericks in a sign-and-trade.

Free agency has only just begun and the Lakers already have a hole to dig themselves out of.

Lakers should trade for Brook Lopez

Per Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, Lopez is another potential player the Lakers could add to their roster this offseason. And it makes perfect sense. 

For starters, Lopez played for the Lakers during the 2017-2018 season, so this would be a return to the purple and gold. While his time in Lakers uniform was short-lived, he cited it as an important season in his career when he was a guest on now-Lakers head coach JJ Redick’s podcast, "The Old Man & the Three."

"Bringing up that transition year, I think it’s something I often overlook myself and how important it was to me becoming the player that I am now."

Lopez added that he had to figure out his role on a team like the Lakers, expressing that it was an adjustment to playing fewer minutes.

"It was the first time really, I guess, playing basketball that I dealt with a sort of adversity like that on a personal level. And so it was very good for me to experience that and have to fight through that, and I did learn to change my game, adjust to the new NBA and get used to playing in a more supporting role than I normally had, which I think is something that has helped me in my time in Milwaukee."

The importance of that year in Lopez’s evolution as a player means this would be a chance to come back to the Lakers even stronger. Lopez got his championship in 2021 with the Bucks, and he would bring that winning mindset to Los Angeles in this potential second go-around.

Lopez would also add some needed flexibility to the Lakers’ lineup. 

Much has been made over the years about Anthony Davis not wanting to play center. Frankly, the season in which the Lakers were uber-successful and ultimately won the championship, was when they had more flexibility at the center position. They had guys like JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard, so Davis wasn’t always tasked with carrying the load at the five.

Lopez could take that center position and free Davis up to stretch the floor, while still being an elite defensive threat. And depending how trades shake out, the Lakers would still have Christian Wood and Jaxson Hayes to go to as well. 

Lopez is still a force on both sides of the ball. In the last two seasons, he averaged 15.9 and 12.5 points per game. During the 2022-23 season, he was also second in Defensive Player of the Year voting.

Signing LeBron to a max contract makes this nearly impossible. The Lakers would have to convince him to take less and get below the second tax apron, which still may be possible as King James want upgrades.

Lopez would make an immediate impact on the Lakers and is a worthy candidate to trade for and have LeBron take a pay cut.