5 Potential Free-Agent Small Forwards for Los Angeles Lakers to Pursue in 2015

The Los Angeles Lakers have a player shopping list almost as long as their worst losing streak of the season, a nine-game slide in January that fell just one game short of the team record.

In what has become a record-setting campaign of futility, the 21-58 Lakers have just three games left and should finish with the NBA's fourth-worst record.

So, while the Lakers currently have an 83 percent chance (per L.A. Times) of keeping their protected top-five lottery pick in the June NBA draft, they have a 100 percent chance of having enough money to spend on free agents in July.

With about $25 million to shop for talent upgrades, the Lakers most definitely will be in the market for a small forward. It's just one need of many.

L.A. has two players on its roster who man the SF position in Wesley Johnson and Nick Young. Neither one has done enough to claim the job as solely his.

Johnson has been consistent in his inconsistency (Mark Medina, L.A. Daily News). Despite Scott’s belief that Johnson’s untapped potential could be realized this year, it just hasn’t. Johnson contributes 9.8 points in about 30 minutes every game he plays.

Nick Young has had a wasted season in which, after signing a new four-year contract last summer, he played in just half the team's games due to various injuries. Young has also been at odds with Scott (per Mark Medina, L.A. Daily News). Their polarizing personalities have clashed on numerous occasions.

What the Lakers must decide is: Do they go after a restricted free agent with great upside who will cost them plenty or play it safe with an unrestricted free agent looking for work and a second or third chance at redemption?

Forget LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. We're talking realistic possibilities only.


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