NBA Free Agency 2012: The Lakers and the 5 Best Destinations for Luis Scola

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IJuly 13, 2012

NBA Free Agency 2012: The Lakers and the 5 Best Destinations for Luis Scola

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    As reported by Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, the news of Houston planning to use the amnesty clause on Luis Scola is music to so many team's ears.

    The Argentinean big man is one of the more talented power forwards in the league, but his trade value has been hampered by his awful contract.

    Now, contenders are going to bidding for Scola's services in the hopes of signing a quality starter.

    Here are the five best landing spots for Scola, given that each team mentioned has the salary cap to sign him.

Dallas Mavericks

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    The Dallas Mavericks have rebounded from a nightmarish beginning to the offseason by signing Chris Kaman and acquiring Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones via trade (via ESPN).

    With those two acquisitions, the Mavericks have solidified themselves as a playoff team next season, and now look to join the championship contenders of the West.

    Scola would be a welcome addition to Dallas' roster, joining an already strong frontcourt of Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman.

    Look for the Mavericks to go hard after Scola in the coming weeks.

Golden State Warriors

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    Golden State has had one of the more successful drafts, picking up a potential All-Star in Harrison Barnes and two role players in Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli.

    However, the Warriors lack depth in their frontcourt and could really use Scola. While he likely would not start over David Lee, he would be one of the first players off the bench.

    Furthermore, Scola would put Golden State into playoff contention for the first time since their "We Believe" year in 2006-2007. 

    At the end of the day, Scola should consider the Warriors as an option, because if this team is healthy, he might be joining an up-and-coming sleeper out west. 

Indiana Pacers

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    The Pacers are one of the deeper teams in the Eastern Conference and gave the Miami Heat quite a battle in the conference semifinals.

    They might have become worse after trading Darren Collison, even though the former UCLA guard was likely going to be relegated to backup duties.

    However, with Indiana not getting better, the gap between them and the Heat might have widened.

    Scola does add to the Pacers' stable of big men, which includes Roy Hibbert and David West. Luckily for Indiana, Miami's lack of size is its major weakness.

Philadelphia 76ers

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    After planning to use the amnesty clause on Elton Brand, the Philadelphia 76ers lost their starting power forward.

    Picking up Scola would be a welcome addition for the 76ers, because he could step in right away on the team's first unit.

    In addition, the Argentinean forward would benefit from having Doug Collins as his coach, a huge upgrade over Kevin McHale.

    Overall, the 76ers are not championship contenders with Scola, but Philadelphia might be a good place for him to refine his game and retest his free-agency value in 2013. 

Los Angeles Lakers

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    This is the destination that makes the most sense for Scola.

    If Los Angeles can sign him to the mini-mid-level, the Lakers would be getting a great bargain for a player who can easily put up 15 points and seven rebounds over the course of a season.

    His value is even higher, because it allows for LA to try and trade Pau Gasol for an athletic forward like Andre Iguodala or Josh Smith.

    A starting five of Nash-Bryant-Smith-Scola-Bynum would put the Lakers back in the thick of a title hunt.