Lakers’ 2010 Off-Season Review

The Lakers retained key players and kept their hall-of-fame coach, but they lost a few key reserves also.   In the off-season Jordan Farmar signed with the New Jersey Nets and Josh Powell also went east as he signed with the Atlanta Hawks.

As for DJ Mbenga, the Lakers did not re-sign him and it took awhile for any team to sign Mbenga.  Finally, in mid-October the New Orleans Hornets signed the seven footer to a one-year deal.

The Lakers also lost bench player Adam Morrison, who hardly got any playing time last season.  Morrison has yet to find a new home, since many teams are wary of his lack of effectiveness.

The Lakers did not have a lot of cap space entering the 2010 summer, but the front office made many bold moves.  With LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade all in the free agency market, not a lot of attention was devoted to the big signings done by the Lakers.

“The Lakers were not as busy as the Miami Heat were in the off season,” said Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Times. “But they [Lakers] did a fairly significant amount of moves to bolster their bench

The Lakers signed back-up point guard Steve Blake to a four-year, $16 million dollar deal.  Blake would bring in floor leadership, three-point shooting, and will give Derek Fisher much needed rest.  Fisher can play limited minutes in the regular season, just so he will be fresh for when the games matter the most in the playoffs.

Last season, Blake shot 43% from the three-point line and averaged 6.8 ppg and 6.1 apg.  These numbers were actually better than those put up by Derek Fisher, the starting point guard for the team.

The team also added veteran center Theo Ratliff, in order to provide more support for Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.  Ratliff has averaged 2.4 blocks per game and 5.7 rebounds per game throughout his career.  With the signing of Theo Ratliff, the Lakers have added another defensive minded veteran.

Los Angeles Lakers' Matt Barnes poses for photos during the basketball team's media day at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, California on September 25, 2010. The Lakers will try to three-peat this season after winning back-to-back NBA championship titles. UPI/Jim Ruymen Photo via Newscom

Perhaps the most talked about off season acquisition was the signing of former Magic forward, Matt Barnes.  Laker fans got familiar with Matt Barnes after his “fight” with Kobe Bryant in last season’s match in Orlando.  Barnes did not back down from Kobe Bryant, and was making Kobe work for every shot.

Matt Barnes told the media that Kobe recruited him to the Lakers, and was very excited to have him on the team.

Kobe Bryant told Barnes, “Anyone crazy enough to mess with me is crazy enough to play with me.” Barnes, a UCLA alum and Californian native, was thrilled to sign with the Lakers, and said it was a dream come true for him.

Barnes told the Los Angeles Times, “It’s like every day is Christmas, it’s definitely a dream come true.” Last season with the Magic, Barnes averaged 7.3 ppg, and 4.4 rpg.  His numbers may not by jaw-dropping, but Barnes’ defensive efforts will surely help the Lakers.

In the 2010 NBA Draft, the Lakers drafted Derrick Caracter from University of Texas-El Paso with the 58th pick, and Devin Ebanks from West Virginia with the 43rd pick.  Both rookies impressed the Lakers’ staff, and the team decided to sign both of the draftees.

“The Lakers had the 43rd and 58th picks in the draft, and in those cases you don’t get anyone spectacular,” said Mark Medina. “But the team really likes what Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter have brought to the team.”

The Lakers are gearing up for another title run, and they have changed their roster for the better.  The following roster will most likely stay this way for opening night on October 26th:

Ron Artest

Matt Barnes

Steve Blake

Shannon Brown

Kobe Bryant

Andrew Bynum

Derrick Caracter

Devin Ebanks

Derek Fisher

Pau Gasol

Lamar Odom

Theo Ratliff

Sasha Vujacic

Luke Walton

Check back tomorrow for a 2010-2011 Lakers’ season preview.

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