NBA Free Agency: Three Players Who Can Fill Alex Caruso’s Void at Los Angeles Lakers

Published 08/03/2021, 12:00 AM EDT
SHENZHEN, CHINA – OCTOBER 12: Alex Caruso #4 of the Los Angeles Lakers in action during the match against the Brooklyn Nets during a preseason game as part of 2019 NBA Global Games China at Shenzhen Universiade Center on October 12, 2019 in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. (Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images)


The one team that is expected to have one of the biggest overhauls this offseason, it’s the Los Angeles Lakers. With so many players dealing with free agency, there will be a lot of different pieces surrounding their star duo LeBron James and Anthony Davis. While some players in their roster needed to go, some will be dearly missed for the impact they have had. And Alex Caruso is the man who tops the latter list. But with his exit, there are other good players whose entry awaits. So, here are players who could be his replacement.

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Lakers’ interest in Avery Bradley

Alex Caruso came into this season after impressing everyone with his stellar performance that proved that he wasn’t just the focus of memes but a vital player for the purple and gold. It was thanks to him that the Lakers had one of the top defenses in the league and his value in the eyes of other teams also increased.

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But now that it might be time to bid goodbye to the franchise darling, new prospects have come to light. It seems like the Lakers are looking to bring back Avery Bradley in free agency to the roster as Caruso’s replacement. Bradley, who opted out to play in the Orlando Bubble with the Lakers, was still named an NBA champion with them. However, he did not stay with them next year.

From a detour to Miami Heat, he landed up with the Houston Rockets, averaging only 5.2 points and 2.3 rebounds. Now, the Lakers are in dire need of quality veterans that can help improve players surrounding LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Hence, Bradley might be the man for the job.

SHENZHEN, CHINA – OCTOBER 12: #11 Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers in action during a preseason game as part of 2019 NBA Global Games China at Shenzhen Universiade Center on October 12, 2019 in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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Up next: Patty Mills

From the very beginning, the Lakers’ top priority was probably getting players who could score from the arc. Especially after the poor performance in the playoffs. When they traded Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, their only reliable three-point shooter in a package that got them, Russell Westbrook, this has become a matter of most importance.

With that in mind, Patty Mills seems to be their target that could take up this responsibility. While playing for the San Antonio Spurs, he has been labeled as one of the top shooters in the league. And since Dennis Schroder is on his way out, they want an upgrade for their point guard position.

Apr 7, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills (8) shoots the ball past Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) in the first quarter at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s not forget Mac McClung

Since they did not have a draft pick in 2021, the Lakers ensured a two-way deal that landed Austin Reaves and Joel Ayayi. But their work here was not done. They needed to add more talent that could compete for the plethora of roster spots available in the team. That’s when Mac McClung came into the picture.

The Texas Tech guard has a training camp deal with the franchise, as per Shams Charania. He has a chance to make his impact in the Summer League, which won’t come easy as he isn’t the best playmaker who can handle being a PG for the Lakers.

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If the Lakers had enough money to keep Caruso, things might have been very different. Seeing a player like him walk away will hurt fans and teammates alike. But it only means something better might be waiting for them.

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Yashima Bhatia

1468 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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