3 Los Angeles Lakers free agent targets with ties to Russell Westbrook

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 13 (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 13 (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers, Russell Westbrook
Sep 23, 2016; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Victor Oladipo (5), Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) pose for portraits during Oklahoma City Thunder media day at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 3 Los Angeles Lakers free agent targets with ties to Russell Westbrook. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /

3 Los Angeles Lakers free agent targets with ties to Russell Westbrook: Victor Oladipo

Russell Westbrook and Victor Oladipo shared the backcourt with the OKC Thunder for one season before they ultimately split up. The pairing had potential that was never truly unearthed, and while the circumstances are far different all these years later, perhaps the Los Angeles Lakers could look to reunite the former All-Stars to bulk up their backcourt in free agency this offseason.

Oladipo may not be the All-NBA caliber player he once was due to several brutal injuries in recent memory, but he proved this past season that he could still help in the right role. The guard found a spot in the Miami Heat’s rotation late in the year due to his relentless defense, which earned him significant playing time in the postseason.

The Lakers need a player that can come in and provide a spark on the defensive side of the basketball, and Oladipo could undoubtedly help in that regard. That goes without mentioning what he could bring to the table offensively, as the guard has put up 17.4 points per game for his career thus far.

While his scoring is more of a wild card, as injuries may have robbed him of some of that ability, the potential is there for him to be a great fit on that side of the basketball as well, alleviating pressure off of LeBron James and others.

As for Oladipo’s impending free agency, it will be a fascinating situation. Although it would make sense for him to return to the Heat next year, an anonymous general manager told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that it appears Oladipo is not likely to return to Miami, but he is still looking at a “minimum, make-good contract next year.”

If the 30-year-old guard is looking to prove himself on a contender to try and raise his stock, the Lakers could be the perfect destination for him this offseason, as there would be a role waiting for him in LA. On a “prove it” deal, Oladipo would be a low-risk, high-reward target for the Lakers, and they should look to add the household name if he is within their price range in NBA free agency.