10 Free Agents Who Would Boost L.A. Lakers' Second Unit
To give you a better idea, take a look at the numbers from the team's loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight. Of the Lakers' 75 field goals attempted, the bench players had just seven. Simply put, the team's second unit next season needs to be more than just Steve Blake (pictured), Jordan Hill and others.
Fortunately for GM Mitch Kupchak, there are a bevy of bench players available who could be beneficial to the team.
Here are the 10 that could probably bring the most to the table.
No. 10: Earl Clark
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Though Jordan Hill has emerged as a viable option at center, the Lakers could use another big man to complement Andrew Bynum. Clark isn't exactly what one would call a star, but he's 24 years old and was the 14th pick in the 2009 draft.
Since then, he has failed to accumulate significant minutes and spent the past couple of years with the Orlando Magic. If the Lakers gave him the chance to play more than 20 minutes a game and had some faith in his abilities, perhaps, he could finally emerge and bring some much-needed physical defense to the bench.
No. 9: Louis Amundson
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Like Clark, Amundson isn't a top option for the second unit by any means. Yet, it's hard to label him as a bad player because in each of his five NBA seasons, he has never averaged more than 15 minutes a game.
Call me crazy, but don't you need to get significant playing time in order to be effective?
Still, minutes or no minutes, the heart with which Amundson plays is commendable. He has decent size at 6'9", 225 pounds and would bring a spark of determination that the Lakers' bench is severely lacking.
No. 8: Earl Boykins
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Don't let his diminutive 5'5" stature fool you.
When given the proper number of minutes, Boykins has proven to be a legitimate three-point threat.
Sure, Steve Blake already has this position on the Lakers, but talk about a deadly one-two punch from three-point land should Boykins bring his talents out West!
No. 7: O.J. Mayo
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Mayo's consistency is a big question mark, but his effectiveness on his good days speaks for itself.
On a deep and talented Memphis Grizzlies team this past season, he averaged an impressive 12.6 points per game off the bench.
His ability to score from anywhere on the floor would give the Lakers a proper sixth man—a hole that was left wide open after Lamar Odom was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.
No. 6: Boris Diaw
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A huge problem for the Lakers this year was that there was no true backup power forward for Pau Gasol.
Bringing Diaw on board solves that problem.
He may be small for power forward at just 6'8" and 235 pounds, but Diaw's ability to work the inside and even drain the occasional outside shot make him a valuable asset on any team.
Were he to fit in on the Lakers, perhaps, he'd become even more valuable.
No. 5: Kenyon Martin
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Martin is no longer the tough and physical power forward he was in the prime of his career, but he still has a good game here and there that reminds us all of what he can do.
More importantly, he has good size at 6'9", 240 pounds and actually plays defense, unlike current Lakers' backup power forwards Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy.
No. 4: Lou Williams
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How could Williams help the Lakers' bench woes?
Well, let's start with the fact that he led the Philadelphia 76ers in scoring this year, averaging 14.9 points per game coming off the bench.
His court vision and shot selection are a bit questionable, but the fact remains that he still knows what his job on the court is. Give him some time to learn the Lakers' system and pecking order, and he'll fit in just fine.
No. 3: Carlos Delfino
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Delfino is an absolute pest on defense and can drain wide-open threes with ease.
Can somebody say Rick Fox 2.0?
No. 2: Leandro Barbosa
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Basketball is a game of speed, and that's why the Lakers need to pursue Leandro "The Brazilian Blur" Barbosa to boost the bench.
The 2007 Sixth Man of the Year is little more than a scorer, but his defense is good enough and his three-point shot is just plain amazing.
Just how well he would fit in LA remains to be seen, but his passionate and electrifying approach to the game would give the aging Lakers just the spark they need late in games and in the clubhouse.
No. 1: Jason Terry
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Terry isn't getting any younger and will turn 35 before the start of next season. Still, the list of talents he brings to the table is hard to ignore.
He won the 2009 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award when he averaged 19.6 points off the bench and has been a great three-point shooter his entire career. In 12 NBA seasons, Terry has averaged 16 points while shooting an incredible 38 percent from beyond the arc.
Most important, however, is something Terry has that no team can ever have too much of: championship experience. He was instrumental in leading the Dallas Mavericks to victory over the Miami Heat last year, as he made clutch shot after clutch shot.
Though the Lakers are no strangers to winning titles, adding a veteran voice among a young and inexperienced bench could only help.