The only player the Los Angeles Lakers have been consistently linked to in the last few days and hours ahead of the NBA free agency starting bell is Denver Nuggets wing Bruce Brown, but Thursday afternoon saw three new names emerge on their radar publicly: Jevon Carter, Shake Milton and Cory Joseph.
Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports that all three could be potential replacements for Dennis Schröder if they are unable to keep him:
The Los Angeles Lakers want to re-sign Dennis Schroeder but also have other point guards on their radar, including Jevon Carter, Shake Milton, Cory Joseph, etc., league sources told HoopsHype.
Carter, who opted out of his $2.2 million player option this week, was a player our own Alex Regla highlighted among possible bargain bin free agency candidates, writing the following:
Rob Pelinka’s recently told reporters the team will target “tough, defensive-minded, selfless players in free agency.” Although he has limitations, Jevon Carter may be the living embodiment of exactly the type of player Pelinka is describing.
Although he’s on the smaller end at 6’2,” Carter plays way bigger as he’s a bulldog at the point of attack and was a key cog to the Bucks’ defense the past two seasons.
According to Cleaning the Glass, Milwaukee was +2.7 points better in the minutes Carter was on the floor and held the opposition to a defRTG of 109.9. For context, Cleveland had the best defense in the league allowing 111 points per 100 possessions this past season.
Beyond his defensive intensity, Carter also would offer the Lakers some much needed reliability in multiple facets.
Not only did he play in 81 games last season, but Carter also shot exactly 43% on his above the break and corner 3-point attempts alike.
It’s also worth noting that Darvin Ham previously coached Carter while as an assistant with the Bucks, and definitely fits the mold of the type of guard he likes.
Our friends over at Liberty Ballers described Milton as a relatively young, capable player who just got squeezed out of the rotation this season in Philadelphia by better options like James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and De’Anthony Melton.
Joseph, meanwhile, shot nearly 39% from three for the Detroit Pistons last season over 62 games, and the 31-year-old would seem to be mostly a candidate for the veteran’s minimum as emergency guard insurance rather than an every-game player.
There is still the possibility the Lakers don’t lose Schröder, however. In addition to Scotto, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported that the team wants to retain Darvin Ham’s security blanket, and cap expert Yossi Gozlan outlined the potential paths to them doing so.
The Lakers would be limited to re-signing Dennis Schroder to $3.8M (Non Bird) or $4.5M (Bi-Annual) if they sign Bruce Brown with the $12.4M MLE.— Yossi Gozlan (@YossiGozlan) June 29, 2023
If Schroder accepts, his Early Bird rights would allow him to re-sign with the Lakers next season on a market-value multi-year deal. https://t.co/verow0oZhA pic.twitter.com/SGtucnXNSh
But if the Lakers can’t keep Dennis, all of these guys seem like a decent indicator of the caliber of names they’ll be looking at as potential replacements.
Do you like any of them, or does this just make you want to keep Schröder more? Let us know in the comments below.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.