The free agent market in the NBA is becoming thinner and thinner by the day. As the 2012-13 NBA season approaches, the talent level left in the free agent pool is drastically dropping off with few viable options left for teams in terms of considerable upgrades.
It’s no secret at this point in time that the Los Angeles Lakers are doing everything within their power to be legitimate NBA title contenders in the final two years of Kobe Bryant’s contract with the team.
With Kobe clearly leaning towards walking away from the game or playing overseas once his contract expires after two more seasons, the Lakers’ front office is making moves to secure the future of the franchise and increase the chances of winning one or two more titles with the future Hall of Famer leading the way.
The additions of Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison were steps in the right direction for the Lakers, but it could be argued that they need to make at least one more move in free agency to help bolster the bench. A move to acquire Dwight Howard may still be in the works for Los Angeles, but another addition to the bench is needed to help improve the team’s chances moving forward.
Another potential free agent target emerged on Monday with veteran forward Kenyon Martin reportedly interested in signing with the Lakers according to SI.com:
“Sources said the 34-year-old power forward is holding up this later stage of the hiring process for frontcourt free agents, with the Lakers and the Nets among the teams he’s considering and negotiation leverage seemingly gone because so many of his colleagues seem willing to take minimum deals.”
It is uncertain how much interest the Lakers may have in Martin with the team already agreeing to terms with Jamison and re-signing Jordan Hill. If the Lakers were going to make another move in the frontcourt, the addition would most likely be for a backup center. Hill can fill this role, but seems to be a better fit as a backup to Pau Gasol rather than Andrew Bynum or Howard.
Despite that being the case, the Lakers may take a look at Martin with the veteran forward bringing in a defensive presence to the frontcourt.
Last season, Martin averaged 5.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game for the Los Angeles Clippers. Martin will turn 35 years-old on December 30.
The main focus for the Lakers in free agency as of right now appears to be upgrading the backcourt in free agency with a need for a shooting guard to back up Kobe Bryant. Leandro Barbosa and Jodie Meeks are currently rumored to be at the top of the list for the Lakers.