Free Agency’s First Night Has Lakers Chasing Shooters

Darius Soriano —  July 1, 2013

Just because the Lakers are waiting to have their official meeting with Dwight Howard, it doesn’t mean all their free agency plans are on hold. When the clock struck midnight on the east coast, the Lakers’ brass started to make calls to the representatives of multiple players declaring their interest in obtaining their services for next season.

Reportedly, these are the players the Lakers reached out to:

  • Chris Copeland
  • Carlos Delfino
  • Chase Budinger
  • Francisco Garcia
  • Wayne Ellington
  • Nick Young
  • Jordan Farmar
  • Matt Barnes

When examining this list, a couple of trends start to emerge. First and foremost, nearly every one of these players is someone who can shoot the ball well from behind the arc. Second, nearly all of them are either small forwards or shooting guards. Third, if they’re not exclusively shooters, they are guys who are able to score in bunches by being able to create their own shot.

None of this should be a surprise. The Lakers lack depth on the wing and need a player (or two or three) who can play on the wing as either a SG or SF (or preferably log some minutes in either role). Furthermore, the Lakers need more players capable of hitting jumpers from behind the arc. This would be true even if Mike D’Antoni wasn’t the head coach, but considering his offensive system of preference is a spread pick and roll attack, having capable shooters who can create spacing is crucial. In the last couple of seasons, the Lakers haven’t had the shooters they’ve needed to give their post players room to operate or their perimeter players room to penetrate. Getting one or more of the players listed above would certainly help fix that.

None of these players are splashy names. In fact, the casual fan might start to wonder who exactly some of them are and roll their eyes with a “these guys are going to help the Lakers retain Dwight Howard?” mindset. But the fact is that these are the types of players who can help you win games by plugging them into the rotation and allowing them to play to their strengths by playing off of your better players. Some have more versatile offensive games than others; some are better rebounders or defenders; some have more negatives to their style of play, but the point is that they all fit the template of a type of player the Lakers could really use.

Darius Soriano

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to Free Agency’s First Night Has Lakers Chasing Shooters

  1. Those ate the kind of players we need next season. Btw Mitch must had been the one that trained Batman in the League of Shadows or he have clones lol. Master Ninja.


  2. A lot of small forwards on this list. Tells me Ron’s days may be numbered as a Laker.


  3. Never should have parted with Matt Barnes in the 1st place!


  4. I’d love to see them lock up Seth Curry. I know he’s still rehabbing an injury, but nothing has shown me that he can’t make the transition to being a solid contributor in the league. And the fact that his father and brother have both played fantastic in the league also doesn’t hurt my impression of him. Will come cheaper than the free agents listed above as well, I’d imagine. I’d love to see Francisco Garcia playing for the Lakers next year, also. Hope to keep Howard around, but I wonder if there’s any outside chance Bynum would return, or do people think someone will offer him a huge deal after he sat out the entire previous year? And if we’re going down that fallback road: Greg Oden? Marcus Camby will probably be bought out once that trade to Toronto’s completed – not that he can play 40 mins a night anymore, but I’d imagine he could still bring toughness and rebounding for 20+ minutes a night on the right team.


  5. Kevin,
    Or that he may play way more PF next season if he is on the roster. It’s one of those, though, in my opinion.


  6. Yeah, I said last week that we may see Metta used as a smallball 4, if Howard stays and Pau is gone, or vice versa.

    As per Darius’ Tweet, the Rockets are supposedly after Josh Smith.


  7. I am OK with the guys on this list, but the Lakers need to think D as much as shooting.


  8. Matt Barnes maybe….I like budinger

    Still nobody that can stop point guards from blowing by us every single play.

    Garcia tries…..

    Its going to be another rough year


  9. rr: Per your previous post, that would be excellent if the Lakers surprised DH with guys like Magic and Kareem. We could also use James Worthy. Anything we can do – needs to be done. I would draw the line at moving the team from LA, but most things short of that are on the table.
    pio2u: Correct. Barnes and Shannon. The combo was devastating.
    Player List: They are all FA, so one year deals would be key.


  10. Darius i have a question what are the odds of the Rockets moving Lin humongous contract and Asik to get Dwight a 3rd star?Those contracts are ugly ugly and i dont think any team on its right mind would take those,especially Lin, i think the Rockets have a mayor hiccup on their pursue of Howard


  11. Renato Afonso July 1, 2013 at 10:44 am

    As long as we don’t get Nick Young, I’m fine with every other name there. Maybe Farmar wouldn’t make that much sense since we have Blake and Nash.

    Budinger, Delfino and Barnes would be great to have if combined with Artest’s departure…


  12. i tink we need delfino n barnes…


  13. TempleofJamesWorthy July 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Re: Lin & Asik contracts

    There are probably some teams out there who would be willing to take those contracts under the right circumstances.

    While Lin & Asik’s contracts seem to be an excessive $14 mil for 2014-2015, they have value because 1) They are expiring contracts which are valuable trading chips and 2) Under the “stretch provision” of the new CBA, a team that has one of their contracts in the big money year could waive the player and stretch out the remaining payment. That provides $9 million in immediate salary cap relief, and spreads the $14 million over three years.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The conventional wisdom is that Houston offers the best chance for Dwight Howard to win a championship immediately, but is that necessarily true?

    Houston has already dumped Aaron Brooks, Carlos Delfino, and Thomas Robinson. If they trade Lin and Asik to gain cap space, then sign DH12 and another big name (let’s say Josh Smith), then Houston’s starting lineup is:

    PG to be named later

    with essentially no proven bench depth. Is such a lineup that much better than the Lakers have to offer? It had better be, because Houston would be stuck with it for 4 years.

    I still think it likely that DH12 leaves because he’s butt-hurt about D’Antoni, Kobe, and demanding Lakers fans. But if he does, it won’t necessarily give him the best opportunity to win.


  14. would love to get Jordan Farmar back! He made the second unit exciting and productive. Budinger is okay also.


  15. I like Budinger a lot, but we’ll be priced out of him. Delfino might be affordable and would be a great pickup. Garcia would be a solid pickup, but no more than a 2-year contract at his age. I was never in favor of letting Barnes go, but the idea at the time was how his shooting and effectiveness seemed to depreciate in the playoffs. Might as well take a run at Collison too, he’s worth more than a Meeks-level contract but it’s worth a shot. His ideal future is as a speedy feast-or-famine backup PG.

    I’m thankful we finally gave up the ridiculous experiments with the 2nd-rounders. I never really thought Goudelock and Morris would develop into significant NBA players (yes, Morris has defensive potential, but his cluelessness running an offense means he’ll have to learn how to score/shoot better because his only shot is as a 2). Ebanks I had higher hopes for – especially since he was drafted on the heels of letting Ariza go – but you can’t teach work ethic.


  16. Julio Palacios July 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I would pursue Farmar, Young, and Budinger those would be the 3 keys from that list, I would maybe switch Budinger with Barnes, we need scoring of the bench and energy and these groups of guys can do that, it would be a MUCH improved bench and gives us more depth I hope we look into Seth Curry and please let Ryan Kelly play, this guy is versatile and a scorer with championship pedigree


  17. Great underrated pickup for Indiana in CJ Watson.

    No Farmar:


  18. I see on the Twitter feed over there that Darius is having fun with Matt Moore. Moore is a Haterboy–always has been. Flip side of a fanboy. You can pretty much tell when a guy calls Kobe a “sociopath” or a “psychopath” and Moore’s attempts to analyze the Lakers generally reflect that. Hopefully he is smart enough that he has stopped trying to write seriously about the Lakers; he doesn’t have it in him.


  19. Budinger would be good, but IMO he will get more than the mini-MLE. I would rather have Farmar on the team than Blake, but JF may get more than the vet min. OTOH, he might really want to play at home.


  20. I wanted Watson last year. Never did think giving Steve Blake four years was a great idea.


  21. with essentially no proven bench depth. Is such a lineup that much better than the Lakers have to offer?

    Yes, in part because after 2014, we have no idea who will even be in the Lakers’ lineup, and in part because the Houston guys are all young/prime. Also, while the 6-9 spots on a roster are very important, there are generally multiple options with which to fill them, and Daryl Morey has shown he is good at choosing good options in that area. Morey’s problem has been not having stars. He has one now, and he is trying to get another one.

    The Lakers will basically be selling Howard on the idea that the old guys will be healthy next year, they can fix the D by adjusting the personnel at the margins and adding a coach or two, and then that they can reload quickly around him after that. But as the SSR piece I linked above points out, and as many here have noted, the 2014 FA class is not what some seem to think it is.

    Howard has already played with Kobe, Pau and Nash, under D’Antoni, and it didn’t work. Trying to convince him that it will work next year–and next year matters to Howard, I assume–will be a tough sell.


  22. “Howard has already played with Kobe, Pau and Nash, under D’Antoni, and it didn’t work. Trying to convince him that it will work next year–and next year matters to Howard, I assume–will be a tough sell.”

    I claim that it worked when they actually got to play together. The Lakers played fairly well during the second half of the season.


  23. Don’t understand why Jim won’t suck it up, throw pride out the window and call Donald Sterling. You cannot let a top 10 player walk for nothing.


  24. fern he didnt train me but he was a high ranking member