It’s hard to predict just how vested the Lakers will be in the 2011-12 free agent sweepstakes. There’s not very much money to sign anyone particularly great, nor is there anyone particularly great to salivate over. While the 2011-12 class of free agent pales in comparison to last year’s group, there are still a few players that could provide depth for the Lakers where they need it the most—at the point.
The question is how much are the Lakers willing to go over the salary cap and delve deeper into the luxury tax to acquire these missing pieces? Then there’s the fact that although these players become free agents on June 30 and could be available for purchase eight days later, the lockout prevents them from being signed with any potential teams for an undetermined period of time.
Whether you like it or not, it’s a point guard’s league and the Lakers have been lacking in that department for quite some time. Now a lot of what determines which way the Lakers will sway in choosing a new point guard is based on who the Lakers decide to takeover coaching duties. I don’t believe the Lakers can decide on any free agents until they know what direction they’re going in coaching philosophies.
Setting that aside for a second, assume that what the Lakers need is a burst of youth, a guy with speed and athleticism who’s smart and innovative enough to only need a quick snapshot of the floor to determine how to orchestrate the offense. Oh and when the going gets tough, can put up a last second shot. Sadly, Chris Paul isn’t going to be available this off-season. (Not that I’m entirely sure the Lakers could land him having already two players with max contracts through 2014, but moving on…) For the sake of argument, the next three point guards could provide a spark either off the bench or potentially even in the starting lineup.