Predicting the Lakers perfect starting lineup after an ideal offseason

The Los Angeles Lakers have limited resources, but still enough to make a splash this offseason. What would an ideal starting lineup look like if everything worked out this summer?
Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers
Los Angeles Lakers v Indiana Pacers / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Starting Lakers Guard: De'Anthony Melton

With three stars being paid top dollar—we're getting there, I promise—the Los Angeles Lakers are going to have to fill out the starting lineup with players who are willing to accept the MLE or less. That list of players who may be starting-caliber is limited, but not without intriguing options.

De'Anthony Melton sits at the top of it as a North Hollywood native coming off of an injury that puts him right in the Lakers' price range in this ideal offseason.

Melton actually fits quite well in this scenario, as he's a defensive-minded wing who can play without the ball. He's shot 36.0 percent or better from beyond the arc in each of the past four seasons, including a mark of 39.0 percent in 2022-23 with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Melton missed 46 games in 2023-24 due to a back injury, but his return to form is a worth betting on in this scenario for the Lakers.

Standing at 6'3", Melton is a bit small to be playing alongside the Lakers' big offseason acquisition, an undersized guard himself. In saying that, he boasts a 6'9" wingspan and is widely regarded as one of the top perimeter defenders in the NBA due to his ability to switch and get physical with bigger players.

With the ability to play without the ball in his hands and the versatility to defend multiple positions, this would be a dream signing as a former USC Trojan spends a season as a Laker before earning bigger money in 2025.