Back in May, I wrote an article detailing the offseason moves the Lakers need to make in order to strengthen their roster, if they end up retaining the nucleus of their team.
I stated how the front court would be quite well off (if they retain Earl Clark), as it was last season.
However, the most glaring deficiency was in the backcourt. Essentially, although the Lakers exercised their option on Jodie Meeks last week, they still could use solid shooting, defensive-minded backups to Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, or a single combo guard that could spell both positions; and possibly an athletic wing player as well.
In the same breath, the options at the time were extremely limited given the Lakers’ financial situation and the available free agents.
However, in an effort to clear cap space for the possibility of acquiring Dwight Howard, the Houston Rockets waived point guard Aaron Brooks and shooting guard/small forward Carlos Delfino, essentially giving the Lakers two more options in free agency.
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Now, I’m not suggesting the Lakers actually make these moves or asserting that these two players would be the ideal fit for the Lakers, but I am hoping the Lakers at least entertain the possibility.
First, both players are likely affordable options for the Lakers, as Delfino was paid just $3 million last season and Aaron Brooks only played seven game. Brooks has also been waived twice in recent history.
Unfortunately, Brooks (28 years-old) isn’t the same player we all remember him as, when he was ripping the Lakers’ defense apart during the 2009 playoffs in a seven-game series and averaging 19.6 points and 5.3 assists during the regular season.
After returning from a stint playing basketball in China, Brooks did average 8.0 points on 46 percent shooting from the field in 20.8 minutes per game with the Sacramento Kings for 46 games last season, though.
Additionally, it would be a low-risk option for the Lakers not only financially, but basketball-wise as well. What exactly does that mean? Well, it means that Brooks would essentially be replacing Chris Duhon, who was let go by the Lakers last week. In other words, Brooks would be the third-string point guard; backing up Steve Nash and Steve Blake.
Perhaps his career could even rejuvenate with Mike D’Antoni’s wish to play a faster-paced offense. Obviously, D’Antoni had to alter his system to incorporate two low-post players and slow the game down, but Brooks could give them an added dynamic for when they want to run-and-gun.
As for Carlos Delfino (30 years-old), he’s a solid defender with a decent outside shot who can play both the shooting guard and small forward positions. Delfino also has an international background as well, as he’s played multiple times with the Argentine National Team.
While Delfino may not be the youngest guard out there for the Lakers, he still managed to average 10.6 points in 25.2 minutes per game last season. Similar to Brooks, Delfino would be low-risk player basketball-wise, as he’d simply be an addition to a back-court roster already suited with a backup shooting guard. However, Delfino could very well surpass Jodie Meeks as the primary backup to Kobe.
The fact that Delfino is 30 years-old and not an up-and-comer may also mean the Lakers could get him at a bargain price. If they can, it may be a wise option for them.
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Finally, if the Lakers manage to re-sign Dwight Howard and eventually sign both free agents given up by a team hoping to acquire the coveted big man, it would be quite ironic.
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