The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be in pursuit of several veteran free agents, a couple of them played with resident superstar LeBron James during his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In the Yahoo Sports’ 2019 NBA free agency preview, Sr. NBA writer Chris Haynes mentioned sharpshooter Kyle Korver and enigmatic guard J.R Smith as two potential targets for the Lakers.

The Lakers are currently working very closely with the New Orleans Pelicans, trying to iron out few details of the Anthony Davis trade in an attempt to create as much as $32 million in cap space this summer.

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Regardless whether the Lakers can dump additional contracts, they are determined to use the remaining large chunk of their cap space for top-tier free agents like Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and D’Angelo Russell. In short, Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka will be relying heavily on the league’s veteran minimum exception to fill out the rest of their roster.

Shooting help on the way

While Korver and Smith are technically under contract as of the moment, these two veterans are expected to part ways with their current teams just before free agency starts on July 1.

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Korver recently landed with the Memphis Grizzlies as part of the Utah Jazz’s trade package for point guard Mike Conley. The 38-year-old sniper is set to earn $7 million for the 2019-18 NBA season, but the figure is only partially guaranteed for $3.44MM up until July 7.

Smith, on the other hand, has remained with the Cleveland Cavaliers despite the team receiving multiple trade proposals on or before draft day.

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Smith’s contract in which only $3.8 million of the $15.6 million is guaranteed has enticed teams looking to cut salaries. However, the Cavs turned down the trade offers for Smith and will very likely waive him before June 30.

Haynes pointed out that adding capable shooters like Korver and Smith will be crucial for the Lakers as they continue to build their championship-contending roster. Korver shot 46 percent from 3-point area despite splitting the 2018-19 NBA season with the Cavaliers and the Jazz.

Smith only played 11 games before the Cavs decided to sit him out for the remainder of last season. Despite Smith’s eccentric character, teams would still consider acquiring a career 37 percent 3-point shooter and a battle-tested player with multiple finals games around his belt.

LeBron remains the biggest recruiter

Sure, playing in Southern California for a glamour franchise like the Lakers is certainly an appealing offer for any free agent.

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Add that to the chance of playing with two top-5 players in the league in LeBron and Anthony Davis, and the Lakers have all of a sudden a very strong recruitment strategy heading into free agency.

LeBron, who joined the Los Angeles Lakers last summer after a four-year stop in Cleveland, comes out as the biggest recruiter for the purple-and-gold. His larger than life persona along with the leverage of having multiple connections around the league will make him the ultimate puppet master in this free agency season.

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Korver and Smith are just two of plenty of free agents LeBron could target. His former NBA Draft 2013 classmate and close pal Carmelo Anthony is another candidate to join the Lakers, as he chases his first ever NBA championship ring. Then, there’s the possibility of reacquiring the services of JaVale McGee, Tyson Chandler, and Lance Stephenson to meet the 14-man roster requirement.

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