Yesterday I posted an article on why I don’t feel any max player will sign with the Lakers and also why I don’t think the Lakers need a third star. In this article I will give realistic options for the Lakers and who they can use in their run for a champ next season.
Option 1: Dewayne Dedmon
Right now the Lakers only backup big man is Mo Wagner. Dedmon is a cheap player but also a very talented player and one who can be very effective off the bench. He has the interior defense and is also able to score the basketball efficiently. Not only that but what the Lakers lack is spacing. No one on the current Lakers roster has a 3-pt percentage of over 35%. In the past season with the Hawks, Dedmon shot 38% from 3. To add to this, Dedmon was fantastic in the pick and roll offense with Atlanta. When Trae Young and John Collins ran the pick and roll with each other, Dedmon was always there to either shoot the 3 or be used as a second screener on double-screen plays. The only major weakness to his game is probably his lack of speed, but nonetheless, he would still be a great piece in the Lakers title run.
Option 2: Patrick Beverley
Patrick Beverley would be a fantastic piece alongside LeBron and AD. Beverley does everything on the court you want in a starting point guard. He is one of the best defensive players in the NBA, he shoots 40% from 3, and he gets under everyones skin. Right now if the Lakers started their season, their starting point guard would be Isaac Bonga. Bonga played just 120 minutes in the whole season.
Beverley is going to listen to several teams, and this tweet by Sean Deveney explains in this tweet that Beverley doesn’t mind leaving the Clippers. Not only did this occur, but Beverley also posted a tweet of his own:
He posted this tweet on the same day he confirmed on twitter that the Lakers were interested in him. Does this tweet, “Never personal just business” tell us that he is leaving the Clippers?
Beverley has also explained that the largest factor in his decision will be money. In an interview Beverley said when responding to his thought process going into the free agency period, “Securing my family’s future.” When the reporter asked if it was about the money situation he responded, “Yes”. The Lakers don’t have the cap to sign an all-star, but they certainly can afford to give Patrick Beverley a pretty decent contract.
Option 3: Darren Collison
Darren Collison is a fantastic option if Patrick Beverley wants to much money. For the Pacers this season, Collison averaged 11.2 PPG with 47% shooting and 41% from deep. Not only this but he is a great playmaker shown by averaging six assists per game. Collison is a better playmaker than Patrick Beverley, however he is nowhere close to Beverley’s level defensively. To be fair, this is because Beverley is incredible on the defensive end, and was close to making an all-defensive team. Collison would be great as an off ball shooter for the Lakers, and that is the main reason I see them signing him. He can also lead a bench unit as a playmaker. Whatever option you pick, he is a cheap option and I really don’t see him asking for over 6 million a season.
Option 4: Seth Curry
Seth Curry is a threat from beyond the arc, and would be able to complement LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Curry shot an outstanding 45% from 3 this year with Portland, and I think with the Lakers he would be a reliable 10 points a game option for the Lakers. Curry would help the Lakers’ spacing issues, and pairing him with a guy like Beverley or Collison would be deadly in the Lakers offense. Imagine a scenario where you have a lineup of Beverley/Collison at the 1, Curry at the 2, James at the 3, Kuzma at the 4 and Davis at the 5. Davis and James would be using a pick and roll offense. Then outside you have options such as Beverley/Collison, Curry, and Kuzma who can all knock down a shot if the ball gets passed to them. This scenario is exactly why I think the Lakers ought to sign these types of tier 3 players and not stars.
Option 5: Jeremy Lamb
Jeremy Lamb is a situation where the Hornets might pay him 10 million a year and if that happens I don’t see the Lakers trying to get him. However, they can afford to give Lamb a 20 million contract over 4 seasons, so 5 million a year. Lamb was exceptional for the Hornets this season, averaging 15 a night for them. Lamb was the second option in the Hornets system, and it seemed every shot he had went in. Side note he also had the game winner of the year.
Lamb should be a target for the Lakers, and if they can sign him to a relatively cheap multi year contract he will be awesome for them.
Whether it is these five guys or other good players, the Lakers need depth as soon as possible. Right now they are missing the following:
- A starting PG
- A backup PG
- A starting SG
- A backup SG
- A backup SF
- A backup PF
- A backup C
That is a lot of depth to fill out. If the Lakers are able to fill out this roster, they are setting themselves up for a championship season. But if they add one star, they will have a 4 man roster which can’t win a ring. They also have many free agents they can bring back to the team, KCP, Rondo, Muscala, Stephenson, Bullock, McGee, and Caruso. Bullock will ask for more money due to having a good season for the Lakers. They should be able to sign Rondo as their backup PG, and McGee and Stephenson should also fill in some of their gaps.
The Lakers have had a spectacular offseason so far, however if they don’t sign good players to fill out their roster, I don’t see them competing for a championship. We will see what happens. Thanks for reading this post!