Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Potential Free Agent Acquisitions
Los Angeles Lakers: Potential Free Agent Acquisitions
As Training Camp nears, the Los Angeles Lakers are still trying to strengthen their roster. With a team that has question marks at multiple positions, it is important to bring in as many options as possible. Luckily, there are still many quality free agents out there waiting to be called.
Now that the Lakers are in a better financial situation, they are much more flexible in their approach to player personnel. However, they will only look to offer one year deals, in order to keep from compromising their cap surplus in 2014 and 2015. The Lakers have already signed multiple talented players to short-term deals: Nick Young, Wesley Johnson, Chris Kaman, Jordan Farmar and Elias Harris. It goes to show that there is still talent out there; it’s up to Mike D’Antoni to find the right players to fit his system.
With the bigger names signed already, there are still many players able to contribute. The Lakers' situation is much better than people tend to believe. By giving out one year deals, the Lakers are essentially making free agents prove they have what it takes to become a Laker in the future, and to be a part of the retooled team in 2014 and 2015. Next season, the Lakers have the opportunity to become instant title contenders if the pieces fall into place. That's something many teams can't say.
With multiple players coming back from injury in multiple positions, it is imperative that the Lakers invest in adequate backups. There are still many viable options out there, and here are five players the Lakers must take a look at.
Leandro Barbosa PG/SG
Last season, the Lakers lacked players who could create their own shot. Outside of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, the Lakers didn't have anyone else who could, and it hurt them. With Leandro Barbosa, the Lakers would have a quick scoring guard who can come in and get his offense going by himself. Barbosa is also an exceptional ball handler. His ability to handle the ball would take more pressure of Nash, which must be done if the Lakers plan to compete. Barbosa is a definite upgrade over Jodie Meeks as well.
Mickaël Piétrus SG/SF
Mickaël Piétrus could be another player off the bench. He could be very effective in D’Antoni's offense, which gives the Lakers another threat off the bench. His ability to shoot the ball and slash to the basket will give the Lakers an added dimension to their offense. Pietrus has shown that he can hit open shots, which will happen often in D’Antoni's offense, but his injuries have piled on lately. If he can stay healthy, he could be an asset to the Lakers in 2013.
Dahntay Jones SG/SF
The Lakers' defensive issues last season have only gotten worse. With the loss of Metta World Peace and Dwight Howard, expect the Lakers' defense to be severely hurt. Although, there are a few viable free agent options to help soften the blow. Dahntay Jones could be a defensive specialist that the Lakers could use. Yes, most Lakers fans want his head for injuring Bryant, but many players Kobe has beef with end up becoming Lakers. We saw this with Matt Barnes and World Peace. Jones' ability to hit the three is another reason why he could be a useful signing.
Drew Gooden PF/C
With the lack of healthy big men on the Lakers' roster, Drew Gooden could be an interesting option. His ability to stretch the floor to allow other players play in the paint could give him an advantage over other players on the team. His veteran experience could be another key factor in the Lakers decision to bring him in. Gooden's knack for playing both the power forward and center positions will allow Pau Gasol to rest much more throughout the season. With a healthy Gasol, the Lakers will be competitive, so it's important to keep him that way.
Hedo Turkoglu SF/PF
Another option is Hedo Turkoglu. He could play a big role in D’Antoni's offense if he is healthy. Like Lamar Odom, Turkoglu is a big guy who can handle the ball and run the offense. His ability to shoot the ball was a big reason why the Orlando Magic made it to the 2010 NBA Finals. If Turkoglu can stay healthy, he would benefit playing for the Lakers. His ability to handle the ball would be a huge upgrade over the power forwards already on the roster. Turkoglu would be a low risk, high reward type of player. If given a chance, he could be a big part of the team.