One of the biggest problems the Los Angeles Lakers have to address before next season is the play off the bench. Last season, the Lakers had arguably the worst bench in the league and it showed throughout the regular season and during the NBA playoffs.
Fortunately, the Lakers were able to lockup Steve Nash for the next three years to secure the point guard position. This will be the first time the Lakers have had a dominant floor general in the backcourt in quite some time, but it will be all for nothing if they can find players to contribute in the second unit.
If the two losses in the Summer League thus far is any indication of how undependable the younger players on the squad will be, the Lakers are bound to be in trouble without some considerable upgrades before next season.
A free agent option that has recently surfaced as a possibility for the Lakers is forward Anthony Tolliver, according to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida via Twitter:
“Until getting Rashard Lewis, Heat were looking at FA F Anthony Tolliver Teams now eyeing Tolliver: Chicago Dallas Cleveland Lakers Minnesota”
Last season, Tolliver averaged 4.1 points and 3.0 rebounds per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 27-year-old forward didn’t get much time in a crowded frontcourt in Minnesota, and will be looking to move on via free agency this summer.
The signing of Tolliver may be strictly a backup plan for the Lakers as he isn’t exactly a game-changer. If the potential free agent signings of Grant Hill, Antawn Jamison, Jordan Hill and Jermaine O’Neal fall through, Tolliver might become the next option.
There’s no question that both of the Jordan Hill, Jamison and O’Neal are much better options at forward, but the Lakers are extremely limited in terms of signing free agents with an inability to pay high-dollar amounts for players.
At this point in time, Grant Hill signing a one-year deal with the Lakers to play alongside Steve Nash appears to be the most likely scenario. Even if Hill comes into the fold in Los Angeles, the Lakers will need one or two more free agents to help bolster the bench. Jamison is said to be considering his options with the Lakers being a serious candidate to sign him.
As for Jordan Hill, it is uncertain if he’ll return as he continues to gauge interest around the league. The Lakers would love to have him back and for good reason after posting impressive numbers during the playoffs, but it remains to be seen if the two sides can come to an agreement.