A few weeks after pulling off the sign-and-trade for Steve Nash, the Los Angeles Lakers were able to add veteran forward Antawn Jamison and re-sign up-and-comer Jordan Hill. These moves alone were enough to improve the roster considerably in both the starting lineup and off the bench.
Even though the Lakers will have a much better chance of contending for an NBA title next season with the recent additions, GM Mitch Kupchak claims the Lakers might not be done adding players according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com via Twitter:
Mitch Kupchak said the breaks are never on in terms of how LAL pursue players in free agency/trades/etc. Still wants to add to roster.
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) July 25, 2012
The one position the Lakers are looking to lock up with the next free agent signing is at shooting guard. With no viable backup for Kobe Bryant, the Lakers struggle on both ends of the floor once the five-time champion heads to the sidelines.
With that being said, the Lakers will continue to explore their options in free agency with the use of veteran minimum contracts. It may be difficult to find a solid backup in free agency at $1.4 million for next season, but the attraction of playing with Kobe, Nash, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum was enough to bring in Jamison.
Of the available backcourt free agents, Michael Redd has emerged as a suitable option. Along with Redd, the Lakers might look into pursuing Roger Mason Jr., Tracy McGrady, Gilbert Arenas, Jodie Meeks or Leandro Barbosa.
The best free agent option as of right now appears to be Barbosa. It is uncertain how much interest if any Barbosa has in signing with the Lakers, but he’d definitely fit the bill as a combo guard with experience playing alongside and behind Nash.
Other potential options in free agency that might be more difficult to acquire or somewhat unrealistic are Brandon Rush, Martell Webster and Mickael Pietrus. All three of these players will be asking for more than the veteran’s minimum and are currently out of the Lakers’ price range. Of course, the same thing was said about Nash and the Lakers found a way to make the virtually impossible happen by pulling off a sign-and-trade with the division rival Phoenix Suns.