The Los Angeles Lakers didn’t have the offseason that they imagined. Instead of landing Jimmy Butler or LaMarcus Aldridge, they signed Brandon Bass, Louis Williams, and Roy Hibbert.
In the offseason the Lakers have lost Jeremy Lin, Wesley Johnson, Wayne Ellington, and Ronnie Price in the perimeter. They replaced the veteran role players with rookies D’Angelo Russell and Anthony Brown, and reigning sixth man of the year Williams.
In the frontcourt the Lakers lost Ed Davis, Jordan Hill and it appears Carlos Boozer won’t return either. The Lakers replaced the bigs with Hibbert and Bass. Bass is a good big to come off the bench, as he possesses a strong midrange game and plays hard.
Hibbert was the biggest acquisition in the offseason for the Lakers. The Lakers traded a future second round pick for the 7-foot-2 center. The Lakers will have to pay Hibbert a little more than $15 million for the season.
Hibbert is one of the better defenders at his position and serves as a rim protector. He was a two-time All-Star in 2012 and 2014. Last season he averaged 10.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks. Hibbert must work on his efficiency, as he only shot 45 percent from the field last season. In the past three seasons, Hibbert has shot 45 percent or worse.
The reason the Hibbert acquisition can pay off is that he can help protect Julius Randle and the rest of the Lakers on defense. At this point Randle is an average defender at best. The Lakers allowed the second most points (105.3) in the NBA last season. Hibbert should help lower that immediately.
If the Lakers don’t like the way Hibbert performs they can let him walk away in free agency, as he only has one year under his contract. He will have a bounce-back season, so the only question is if the Lakers will re-sign him.