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.