Lakers Advised to Sign 26-Year-Old ‘Versatile, Switchable Wing’ in Free Agency

The Los Angeles Lakers have to make some much-needed changes in the offseason. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has a few great options to work with. Russell Westbrook will probably stay with the team and the same goes to Anthony Davis. Andy Bailey advised the Lakers to sign Charlotte Hornets wing Cody Martin in free agency.

Signing the young player makes perfect sense. Martin will be a restricted free agent. The Hornets can easily match every offer Martin gets in free agency.

“The Lakers have done the ‘load up on past-their-prime veterans’ thing before. It’s time to try something new, and (Gordon) Hayward’s teammate in Charlotte, Cody Martin, would be a good option, and he might not even cost the entire exception,” Bailey wrote. “He checks a lot of the same boxes Hayward would (though maybe on a smaller scale), and there are fewer concerns about his health. He only logged 26.3 minutes per game, but his pace-and-playing-time adjusted numbers illustrate the point above: 10.5 points, 3.5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 threes per 75 possessions, with a 38.4 three-point percentage.”

The Lakers to sign a talented wing in free agency

In the 2021-22 NBA season, Martin saw action in 71 games. He was averaging 7.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists while doing 48.2% from the field, 38.4% from beyond the arc, and 70.1% from the free-throw line. The Hornets small forward ranked 26th in steals per game. Martin was tied for 16th in the league in multi-steal games.

“Almost every team in the NBA this offseason will be on the hunt for versatile, switchable wings, and the Lakers shouldn’t excuse themselves from that fray,” Bailey wrote. “And while there may be some older, bigger-name free agents willing to go to this historic franchise for a taxpayer mid-level exception that might feel like a discount for them, L.A. should expand its search this offseason.”

Martin is a great player. He has career averages of 5.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 171 games with his team. Not bad, right? The Lakers could use his defensive skills to make more impact next season. Pelinka also needs Martin’s 3-point shooting skills.