The title of this article may have thrown you a bit off guard. But it shouldn’t. After all, all of sports is based on speculation and trying to predict what will be a team’s next move.
Today, we are going to discuss potential free agents the Los Angeles Lakers could sign before the start of the season.
Right now, the Lakers have 13 roster spots filled– this means they have 2 open spots. Also, the Lakers still have the veteran’s minimum which they can use on free agents. Unless something crazy happens, you won’t be seeing any big-name stars headed to Los Angeles. Chances are the Lakers are going to look for the low-cost players who will still be able to produce off the bench.
I did some research to see who the Lakers are interested in and who they have met with recently. Based on that, I will discuss potential free agents that are likely to land in Los Angeles.
Throughout his career in the NBA, Amundson has been a nomad of sorts– he’s never really found a permanent home. Since 2007, he has been on 8 different NBA teams. Last week, the Lakers met with Amundson and showed interest in adding him to the roster. At 6-foot-9, Amundson is listed as a Power Forward/Center and can bring some depth to those positions. He hasn’t seen much time on the floor and as a result, his numbers aren’t too impressive. His career average is 3.7 points per game with 3.6 rebounds per game.
Williams has played in the NBA in 2006. He has played for 4 different teams during that time. Williams was invited to training camp by the Lakers to see if he’s a good fit. One thing that Williams has in his favor is the fact that he played for Coach Mike D’Antoni in the 2010-2011 season with the New York Knicks. During his time there, he averaged 7.1 points and 3.7 rebounds. Williams and consistency haven’t always gone together well. Last season with the Brooklyn Nets, he averaged 4.5 points and was 28.6% from the field. D’Antoni and his coaching staff will evaluate Williams and see if he will be a right fit for this year’s squad. He will add depth to the forward position. He is listed at 6-foot-9 like Amundson.
Douglas-Roberts is a more familiar name for Lakers fans. Last season he was invited to training camp, but was let go on the final day. This summer, Douglas-Roberts was on the Lakers’ Summer League Team and he put up impressive numbers. He averaged 8.6 points, 1.8 assists and 1.6 rebounds. An advantage of having Douglas-Roberts on the team is his ability to play at the shooting guard and small forward position. (He is listed at 6-foot-7) With Kobe Bryant’s situation still a bit uncertain, Douglas-Roberts can come off the bench behind Jodie Meeks, who is the main backup to Kobe Bryant. The Lakers mean a lot for Douglas-Roberts. In fact he said, “I’m willing to die for this. It’s as simple as that”. The Lakers need a player who is motivated and works hard to succeed. Will the second time be a charm for Chris Douglas-Roberts? Let’s wait and see.
Landry is another familiar name for Lakers’ fans. Like Douglas-Roberts, Landry was on the Lakers’ Summer League team this past season, but he was the star of the team. He averaged 15.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and was 37.1% from behind the arc. Nevertheless, Landry hasn’t had much success in the NBA. He’s had a couple of stints with NBA teams, but has played mostly in the D-League and overseas in China, Spain and Venezuela. Last season, with the Reno Bighorns, he averaged 16.5 points and 5.0 rebounds. If he makes the Lakers roster, he will be an offensive asset under D’Antoni’s system and provide depth for the forward position off the bench.
This is a name that a lot of you might not have heard about. Daye is a 6-foot-11 small forward who has 4 years of playing experience. He has spent most of his playing days with the Detroit Pistons and the part of last season with the Memphis Grizzlies. He has career averages of 5.8 points and 2.8 rebounds; he also averages 35.6% from behind the arc. He will definitely fit into D’Antoni’s offense, however the issue will be if he is willing to take a pay cut to come and play for the Lakers.
Here’s the name that everyone has been waiting for. Let’s be honest. At this point, Lamar Odom is OLD! He is 33 years old with 14 years of experience under his belt– but hey, he’s still Lamar Odom. The time Odom spent with the Lakers was great. He won 2 NBA titles and was in the prime of his career. After he left, he just wasn’t the same. His numbers decreased significantly on offense and he just didn’t look like he was having fun. The Lakers need to find a way to make a move for Odom and snag him from the Clippers. Odom can help the Lakers by rebounding the ball and also being an offensive scoring threat off the bench. Maybe he needs to come back home to find his element and play like the Odom of the past. We don’t expect him to put up his career-high numbers like 14.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists, but just his presence will make a positive impact for the team. Will fans be singing “Reunited and it feels so good” with Odom’s return? Let’s hope so!
With only 2 open roster spots open, the Lakers can’t sign all the players I’ve mentioned in this article. What does that mean? It’s prediction time! Who knows, maybe Mitch Kupchak has something up his sleeve that none of us know about, but I doubt it. The Lakers only have veteran’s minimums and there’s not much else they can do. Based on that, the research I compiled and what the Lakers need I believe they will sign Chris Douglas-Roberts and Marcus Landry– two of the younger players that can develop over time and provide depth on the bench. Odom is also a highly likely possibility, but the Lakers will have to seduce him to bring him back.
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