Los Angeles Lakers: First free agent additions

Free agency hasn’t exactly been very kind to the Los Angeles Lakers as they attempted to entice some of the biggest stars to LA. Losing out on Carmelo is unfortunate, but the team swung for the fences and fell just a bit short.

At this juncture, the best move for the team was somehow convincing the Rockets to give up Jeremy Lin, a future first round pick and a 2015 second rounder in exchange for cash considerations and a foreign player no one has ever heard of.

The addition of Jeremy Lin (12.5PPG, 4.1AST) is actually a great pickup as the Lakers were looking to upgrade the point guard position. Lin is a young player that brings an uptempo shoot-first style that will help space the floor to create more open shots for Kobe Bryant and Julius Randle.

Linsanity belongs in Hollywood and he will help create excitement, energy and, if he can keep his turnover ratio down, will get Jack Nicholson off his courtside seat. Additionally, this is a huge steal because the Lakers maintain financial flexibility for the 2015 Free Agent period with Lin only counting for $8 million towards the salary cap in his final year. The Lakers can view this as a stopgap for the short term until they make a run at next year’s big free agent players for whom the Lakers will need cap space to sign. Plus, the Lakers added another future first round pick that is critical, as the team will need to rebuild with the draft when Kobe retires.

Nick youngThe Lakers managed to re-sign Nick Young to a four-year deal worth $21.5 million. Young was one of the few bright spots on this season’s team as he averaged a career high 17.9PPG while shooting 43.5% from the field. The Lakers will have him come off the bench as the sixth man for the team and will groom him to become a Jamal Crawford-type offensive weapon.  Young will take the pressure off of Kobe, who really shouldn’t be playing 38 minutes per game anymore. With Young, the Lakers won’t have to sacrifice scoring while Kobe is on the bench.

[Los Angeles Lakers: Missing pieces of the puzzle]

At the same time, the team re-signed Jordan Hill as well to a two-year deal worth $18 million. Hill averaged 9.7 PPG and 7.4 REB for the team as backup to Pau Gasol. He struggled in D’Antonio’s system and will benefit from a new coach who will know how to utilize his skills in the paint and will be a good complement to Julius Randle.

Moving forward, the team is mulling over their many “Plan B” free agent options to round out the team. Mitch Kupchak has to decide if he wants to make a run at a second tier player or go hunting for some bargain players they can sign to one-year deals. Looking at the guys left on the market, the biggest need for the team is a new small forward.

So far, the new additions to the team are a good start and the team is definitely taking a step in the right direction. It will be interesting to see what Kupchak decides to do from here on out and when they hire a coach.

  • meagain

    I hope Kobe jumps off the train wreck, so he does not work himself to death to get to 15-20 wins and hurt himself again. Take a buy and be a hired gun for a team that at least has a plan and or a chance, Kobe your better than this,

    • Virginia Coleman

      For real!

  • dejay Goodman

    I’m sorry, but Kobe is “old school.’ He is not willing to jump from team to team at the chance of seeking that sixth ring. I respect that. LeBron stated this weak-as* mentality of joining other stars. This is not basketball nor is it true competitive sports–it’s the “new” sell-out sports.” I watch sports. Today’s athletes are becoming weak and weaker. There is way too much hugging and smiling after a game and worse sometimes during a game. Pathetic!!! Soon a hard hit or foul by an opponent will end up being for him to start crying and saying how sorry he is. We will soon see players saying “excuse me, but may I go in front of you, or I did not mean to make that shot over your head, so sorry.” Wow!!!

    • meagain

      He is old school. But this is going to destroy him physically and I hate to see it. They are going to play him to death. He should have been playing 20-25 minutes last year, but the made him play over 30, six games in he broke his knee cap. If he stays in LAL he is just going to be hurt sitting on a bench

  • golflvr

    Throw in Jim Buss and you have a deal.

  • Virginia Coleman

    What are Jeannie & Jim Buss doing?

    Lakers fan are tired of waiting for them to build a championship team.

    Hire Brian Shaw for the coaching positon!

    Then start making some significant moves to fulfill the LA roster before all the good players are taken. We’ve lost Gasol & Farmar……and others.

    Superstar players aren’t interested in coming to Los Angeles anymore. Especially with the team we have now.

    Broken down Kobe Bryant is NOT good bait to even lure some role players.

    Carlos Boozer is as available. …..

    And why do we still have Steve Nash (He can’t keep up with the younger point guards