Lakers Rumors: Ranking Big-Man Options LA Could Get with Veteran's Minimum

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 14, 2012

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 15:  Antawn Jamison #4  of the Cleveland Cavaliers shoots a free throw during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on December 15, 2010 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers don't have much money left to spend on free agents, and they still need to find a quality backup big man. 

Assuming that Jordan Hill and/or Josh McRoberts are gone, there are a few intriguing options for the Purple and Gold to consider bringing in off the bench behind Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. 

According to ESPN's Dave McMenamin, the Lakers have a "short list" of names to add, one that is comprised of three players: Elton Brand, Antawn Jamison and Jermaine O'Neal. 

So, from the Lakers' perspective, how do these three big men stack up? 


3. Jermaine O'Neal

Clearly no longer the dominant big man he was with the Indiana Pacers during the prime of his career, O'Neal is now bordering on washed up. He may already be there. 

Starting 24 of the 25 games he appeared in last year for the Boston Celtics, O'Neal averaged just 5.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game with a PER of 9.46. 

O'Neal is still a solid shot-blocker and defensive player in the post, but his offense has completely stagnated as his knees have deteriorated. 

2. Elton Brand

With Elton Brand no longer a part of the Philadelphia 76ers' future, a lot of top-level teams can turn their attentions to getting the 33-year-old power forward. 

Brand is still a solid player, despite his advancing age. Last year with the Sixers, Brand averaged 11.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game with a solid PER of 18.07. 

He's no longer the elite player he once was, but Brand is still a great individual and team defender and he's a threat to pull down every missed shot on either end of the court. 

Between his mid-range jumpers and his contributions in the more gritty parts of the game, he could be a great option off the Lakers' bench. 

1. Antawn Jamison

Antawn Jamison is essentially the polar opposite of the other two players the Lakers are rumored to be pursuing for the veteran's minimum. He may also be the most difficult to sign because he still deserves far more than $1.4 million per season. 

Although he's a terrible defender on the rare occasions that he actually tries, Jamison is still an offensive powerhouse capable of easily averaging double-figures off the bench. His smooth stroke from the outside hasn't gone away with age. 

Jamison could play a large role on this Lakers squad, particularly with Steve Nash earning easy opportunities for him throughout the game with his ability to create shots for his teammates.