NBA free agency is upon us and the Lakers will be making a lot of moves. No they probably won’t be big spenders for Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James. The Lakers need to get a coach and then they need to fill out their roster. They only have Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre and the rookies Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson on their roster.
Kobe is due $49 million over the next two years so the Lakers have to add pieces carefully. They don’t need to add long term contracts to play with Bryant. They should quickly sign Pau Gasol to a two year deal and bring back Xavier Henry, Nick Young and Kent Bazemore for a year or two. There are other wing and big men they could get at discount prices. They need to add a big time free agent this year or next year, but I will touch on that a little later.
Eric Bledsoe would be a nice fit for the Lakers. He’s young, tough, and explosive. His durability might concern you but I think he is worth the risk. He could be mentored by Steve Nash so he could become a better point guard. Again Eric Bledsoe should be the only player that should get a 3-4 year deal. Young players tend to want longer deals and Bledsoe has earned a payday.
The Lakers probably won’t be as bad as they were last season. They need to put a competitive team on the court even though they won’t be competing for a title. It will be tough to make the playoffs out West but they need to compete. Tanking is out of the question unless Bryant gets hurt again. If the Lakers decide to tank they need to do a great job at it like the Sixers and Bucks this past season. Their 2015 pick is top 5 protected; if they can’t get a top 5 pick it will go to the Suns.
Kobe will be off the books in two years. Therefore everyone else should be off the books except a big name free agent (Bledsoe), Randle and Clarkson. You can make an exception for another free agency but you want as much spending money as possible in two years. Kevin Durant will be a free agent in two years and the Lakers would be a nice fit especially if he can join a Bledsoe or another big name. If Randle turns into Z-Bo 2.0 then I don’t think Durant would have a problem joining him and Bledsoe. The Lakers would have so much cap room they would be able to add another star player along with Durant.
This Kobe contract has handcuffed the Lakers to a degree. They can make small moves and hope they can make a big splash with Durant in the near future. It’s a gamble but the Lakers usually turn things around. Free agency might not be that exciting but expect the Lakers to have a busy summer.