One of the biggest weaknesses for the Los Angeles Lakers last season was their lackluster bench play. TheLakers bench finished last in production last season, producing just 20.7 points per game. But with the recent addition of Antawn Jamison, and the re-signing of big-man Jordan Hill, (who had gained serious interest from the Minnesota Timberwolves), have significantly upgraded the Lakers bench, vaulting it right up into the top 10 benches in the NBA. Yet Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak is still looking to add pieces to a bench that he fills is not quite strong enough for a deep playoff run.
Brian T. Smith, of the Salt Lake tribune, pointed out earlier today that the Lakers have serious interest in free-agent forward C.J Miles, (formerly of the Utah Jazz), and that Miles is also seriously interested in joining theLakers. Miles, as Smith stated, does have offers from a few other teams, but the Lakers seem to have an edge at the moment. Miles would likely sign for the mini mid-level exception, something that Kupchak had said before he would not use unless there was a chance of acquiring someone of significant value.
Now although the Miles signing would be good for the Lakers, as it would give a solid backup to starting small forward Metta World Peace, as the Lakers have not really shown an interest in re-signing Matt Barnes, Miles does possess a few weaknesses to his game. The Lakers now need a spot-up three point shooter, someone who can just drain three’s when open, and can catch fire at any moment. They need someone like Jodie Meeks, who is currently a free-agent, and a player that the Lakers have been rumored to be targeting. But if Miles does indeed sign with the Lakers, Smith indicated that a decision could be made in 2-3 days, then that most likely rules out the signing of Meeks.
So the signing of Miles wouldn’t really make sense for the Lakers, as it would leave a glaring hole in their bench. That is unless Kupchak knows something we don’t, pertaining to a trade involving a certain center from the Orlando Magic? If you’ve lived under a rock for the past 6 months or so the player I am talking about is Dwight Howard.Kupchak not going after Meeks in free-agency could indicate that he is confident he will land Howard in a trade sometime this off-season, and with Howard would come Jason Richardson, (and quite possibly HedoTurkoglu or Chris Duhon), a player who can back-up the SG position, and get streaky from the three-point line.
After seeing Kupchak pull off the trade for Steve Nash I will not question his intentions with any move, signing, or trade any longer. The guy is a genius, and quite possibly the best GM in basketball. So what I’m really trying to say is, whatever happens, if Miles is signed or not, Kupchak will put the Lakers in the best possibleposition to win come October 30th.
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