Top Lakers Offseason Needs for 2011-12

Shannon Brown, Theo Ratliff, and Joe Smith will become free agents this off-season, and this will serve as the best opportunity to turn the Laker bench into a set of young players. Brown is the only player that should be re-signed from this list as his offensive and defensive development is continuously growing. We learned this past regular season that in addition to his explosive takeoffs from the floor, he can also be a three-point threat. The other players did not meet expectations, and the only thing that will continue to grow is their age.

Improving the bench arsenal with three-point threats could be the best way to supplement the Lakers starting five. As proven by Sasha Vujacic in the previous seasons, when the Lakers bench is shooting threes, the Lakers become one of the most dangerous teams in the league. Some players that can fill this current void are Courtney Lee from the Rockets, Nick Young from the Wizards, J.J. Reddick from the Magic, and J.R. Smith from the Nuggets. Not only would this help their three-point issue, but also their backcourt situation. I would even consider picking up Vujacic from free agency just to have that same championship feel from previous years.

In summary, the Lakers should transition a younger point guard into the starting lineup, provide a bevy of young and athletic players in the backcourt, and load the Lakers bench with a few three-point threats. Essentially, the Lakers front office should acquire younger players for championship runs as opposed to veteran players for championship runs.

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