The Los Angeles Lakers need to fix their team on the fly.
For the second straight year they got bounced out of the NBA playoffs in the second round by a better team. They played better than they did last year in getting swept by the Dallas Mavericks, but it still isn’t good enough for the Lakers who are used to competing for an NBA title.
Mitch Kupchak is being targeted by the Orlando Magic as their new GM, but he is still under contract and he needs to make a deal or two to get the Lakers back to competing as a legit contender. And I have some ideas on how he can do this.
Kyle Lowry has recently stated he may need to be traded because he believes Houston will not be able to keep himself and Goran Dragic. “I don’t think so,” Lowry, 26, told Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “I honestly think it would be tough. Things have to be addressed. The situation would have to be addressed. If things aren’t addressed coaching-wise, I guess I have to be moved.”
The Rockets were interested in Pau Gasol earlier this season because Rockets coach Kevin McHale likes to have a big PF like Pau to pair with Samuel Dalembert in their frontcourt. The Lakers should offer Gasol for Luis Scola and Lowry.
This way if Ramon Sessions decides to opt out (and he said he would before the playoffs began) they have a better PG in Lowry and in Scola they have an underrated power forward who has shown he can be a very good player. Next to Andrew Bynum, he might even be better in Los Angeles.
If the Lakers use the amnesty clause on Metta World Peace, let Sessions and Troy Murphy walk, they save about $ 14 million. By letting MWP walk they can develop Devin Ebanks and Christian Eyenga at small forward. Ebanks showed some flashes when Kobe Bryant was sidelined at the end of the regular season and Eyenga is an athletic player who could turn into a solid defender.
They can use half of the midlevel exception ($2.5 million) to bring back Jordan Hill, who played well after the trade of Derek Fisher and a first-round pick to the Rockets. Hill provided energy and hustle off the bench as well as several double-double games (points and rebounds) — something they didn’t get from Murphy and Josh McRoberts.
These moves would make the Lakers a lot better and keep L.A. in the hunt for a Western Conference finals appearance and a possible berth in the NBA Finals next season.
Darren Jacks is a contributor to OneManFastBreak.net. Send him an email at: [email protected]