We all wondered if the time has run out for the Lakers. Kobe Bryant is getting up there in age. Pau Gasol continued to regress. And while Andrew Bynum has shown potential of possibly being the best center in the league, he also has knucklehead tendencies which have scared off Laker fans because he is a possible franchise centerpiece.
Outside those three aren’t much better. Ramon Sessions played scared. While Ron Artest/Metta World Peace still shows flashes of brilliance on both ends, he is also getting up there in age. The bench was also widely known to be the lowest-scoring bunch in the league. So the Lakers had to do something fast.
And this is why Laker fans believe in Mitch Kupchak and the front office. They somehow pull moves out of nowhere. After Sessions opted out, the Lakers suddenly snagged…
…Steve Nash. The Suns get draft picks the Lakers may never use. Suddenly, they have their best point guard since Gary Payton (that one-year stint in L.A.). It totally changes the outlook in the offense as Nash is an offensive wiz, which Coach Mike Brown doesn’t exactly specialize at.
They followed that up with the signing of Antawn Jamison. He reunites with old Cavs coach Mike Brown. They needed scoring punch off the bench and that is why Jamison was brought to L.A. Sure, he might have trouble guarding a tree bark but if he can put up more points than the opponent then that’s fine.
Jordan Hill played well late last season for the Lakers as a back-up big. I wanted him back since the Lakers needed a back-up big, regardless. And Kupchak came through again with the re-signing of Hill. He’ll produce good minutes and give relief to the starting Laker bigs, whomever they may be.
Initially, I wanted a haul of Jordan Hill, Grant Hill, and Jodie Meeks. Grant Hill would be a great defensive stopper off the bench and can knock down the midrange jumper. The Clippers ended up taking him, which was a nice get. Jodie Meeks can spread the floor with his 3-point shooting but can hardly play a lick of defense. Still, Meeks would be great since pretty much only the point guards (Nash and, hopefully, Blake does better) are the knockdown shooters in this team.
C.J. Miles was rumored to go to the Lakers. While not the most consistent throughout his career, he’s shown flashes of brilliance on both ends. Not a shooter but he’s a very capable scorer. Not a defensive stopper but he’ll do tremendous jobs defensively once in a while. Plus he’s a big swingman that can either relieve Kobe or Ron.
Nevertheless, whether the Lakers get Dwight Howard or not (I really don’t think it’s that huge of a deal), the Lakers look poised to make a run at their 17th title in franchise history. Don’t ever count the Lakers and their front office out when it comes to making moves on and off the court.