By Joseph Crevier @JosephMCrevier on August 5, 2014
Financial flexibility was and has been a point of emphasis for Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak. He attempted to make a major splash by signing Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James this offseason but obviously failed after nearly persuading Anthony to join Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. Now Kupchak is looking to fill out the Lakers' roster by adding savvy veterans on cheap, short-term contracts.
Ronnie Brewer has struggled mightily in recent years in finding a stable situation where he can contribute. Despite bouncing around, Brewer's defense will always be a constant in his game, making him an ideal candidate for the Lakers at small forward. Los Angeles already has an athletic, defensive minded SF in Wesley Johnson, but why not add one more as defense was a major deficiency last season.
Speaking of savvy veterans, Rashard Lewis has recreated his game as a spot up outside shooter who is fully capable of playing 15-20 productive minutes. Formerly a maximum contract player, Lewis has spent his last two seasons as a member of the Miami Heat where playing time came sparingly. When given the opportunity, though, Lewis stepped up to the plate by nailing several vital three-pointers, especially in the Eastern Conference Finals.
One of the more unknown players on this list, Jordan Hamilton, has seen limited minutes in his short career thus far. Being buried in the Denver Nuggets' rotation for the majority of his career has led to minimal interest league-wide this offseason. Despite the lack of minutes, Hamilton is still a very talented scorer as demonstrated in his days as a Texas Longhorn. Inking him to a bargain deal would be yet another genius move by Kupchak.
Shawn Marion may be interested in joining a championship contender, but those teams do no have much cap space remaining to offer him anything above the veteran's minimum. Los Angeles has the advantage here as the team still holds the bi-annual exception which could pay Marion up to .7 million annually. It's not a huge figure, but it could possibly be sufficient to lure Marion to the City of Angels to play alongside Kobe Bryant.
Now, the most likely candidate to be offered a contract by Kupchak is Michael Beasley. The market for Beasley appeared to be extremely dry, but in recent days the Lakers have reached out to him and even conducted an individual workout. From what I heard, these workouts went surprisingly well, which potentially could foreshadow a deal coming in the near future. His offensive versatility would be the perfect addition to the lacking SF position.
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