This offseason, the Los Angeles Lakers will finally have enough money to be an active player in free agency. The Lakers have made it a goal to free up as much money for next year, including giving out one-year contracts to the majority of the current team. There has been talk about finding a new star to take the reins from Kobe Bryant, with mention of players such as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Even more speculation involves whether the Lakers will wait it out another year and try to cash in on the 2015 free agent class (looking at you, Kevin Love). But there are options for the Lakers to be competitive next year, and they should take a long look at Chris Bosh.
Bosh has taken a lot of criticism since joining the Miami Heat and teaming up with James and Dwyane Wade. He went from being the first option to the third option. His scoring and rebounding numbers have taken a significant dip since leaving the Toronto Raptors, and he has even been labelled “soft.” He also disappeared for most of the last two championship runs. But against the San Antonio Spurs, he proved his worth, showing that he can still be counted on, providing a key rebound and block at the end Game 6.
If the Heat win it all again this year, there is no reason to believe that the Big Three will break up. However, if something goes wrong, then Bosh could be looking for a new home next year.
Bosh is a versatile player who has shown that he can adapt to different situations. In Toronto he was the go-to guy, averaging 20 points a game five different seasons. In Miami, he has become more of a role player with the offense understandably going through James and Wade. Yet, he still has to be considered one of the top power forwards in the NBA.
He is a strong offensive player, with a great mid-range game and decent post moves. On defense, he is active and very good against the pick and roll. While not an intimidating shot blocker, his length does provide problems in the lane for opponents. He has the ability to create his own shot, but also works extremely well off the ball.
He would fit well with the Lakers, especially if Mike D’Antoni is still the head coach. D’Antoni prefers players who can stretch the floor, and Bosh is an excellent shooter, with range extending out to the three-point line. He is shooting over 50 percent on two-point field goals and 37 percent from deep this season. With Wade in and out of the lineup, he has proven that not only can he be a reliable No. 2 option, but that he can adapt to playing with another star player.
While he won’t solve the abundance of problems the Lakers have, his signing could drastically help the team in need of quality big men. Bosh might not carry the superstar title anymore, but at age 29, he is still a high-caliber player whose skill set will allow him to age gracefully. It will take something special to convince him to leave the Heat, but a chance to prove that he is still a star might be all he needs.
Brendan Patel covers the Los Angeles Lakers for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @brendanpatel.