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Lakers top free agency options post Klay Thompson miss: Demar DeRozan tops list

Lakers lose out on Klay Thompson but still have options in free agency. LeBron James may take pay cut for talent.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been relatively quiet in the first 24 hours of free agency, leaving fans wondering if a big move is still on the horizon. While they missed out on Klay Thompson, who signed with the Mavericks, there are still plenty of top-tier players available for the Lakers to target.

LeBron James, who opted out of his player option, is expected to return to the Lakers. However, the question remains at what price. James has expressed willingness to take a pay cut to bring in players like Thompson or DeMar DeRozan. This could open up the mid-level exception to add another player to the roster.

DeRozan, a top-30 player in the league, is one of the most talented free agents still available. Despite potential fit concerns with the Lakers' shooting needs, DeRozan's scoring abilities make him an attractive option. The Lakers could offer him the mid-level exception or explore a sign-and-trade with the Bulls, though it may cost them some draft assets.

Gordon Hayward, who had a rough season with the Thunder, could be a low-risk, high-reward option for the Lakers. At age 34, Hayward still brings shooting and versatility to the table, making him worth considering at a minimum salary.

Dario Saric, known for his ability to shoot from deep and play the small-ball five role, could be a good fit for the Lakers under new coach JJ Redick's system. With his shooting abilities and willingness to play through big men, Saric could provide valuable depth for the team.

Simone Fontecchio, a lesser-known player, has shown promise as a shooter and smart player during his time in the league. As a restricted free agent, there may be competition to retain him, but his shooting abilities and offensive contributions could make him a valuable addition to the Lakers' wing depth.

In addition to these options, players like Miles Bridges, Gary Trent Jr., and Tyus Jones could also be on the Lakers' radar as they continue to navigate free agency. With several talented players still available, the Lakers have the opportunity to make a significant move to bolster their roster for the upcoming season.

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