The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly, according to the Charlotte Observer via David Alridge, set to add 14-year veteran Antwan Jamison to their squad. With the additions of aged veterans Steve Nash and Jamison, the Lakers are going all in towards competing for a title in the short window before Kobe Bryant retires.
While the day of Bryant's retirement seemed further off, in a Yahoo! Sports interview with Graham Bensinger via The Los Angeles Times, Bryant discussed his potential retirement. Bryant wouldn't commit past his current contract which expires in June 2014 and mentioned a possible retirement at that time.
"It'll be the last year of my contract. I don't know if I will play any longer than that. I don't know. It's just a possibility. It's not something I even give it much thought to, but it's a possibility. It could happen," Bryant said in the interview.
In response to an aging Bryant, the Lakers have seemingly gone all in with the intention of competing the next two, possibly three seasons.
The Lakers had obvious needs at the point guard position. After a failed trade for a franchise player in Chris Paul before last season started, the Lakers got their man at point guard in Nash. At age 38, Nash doesn't have much playing time left himself, but will bolster the Lakers backcourt for the time being.
Turning Staples Center into a retirement home apparently hasn't stopped there with the rumored signing of Jamison. At age 36, Jamison still has some gas left in the tank, but this isn't a signing that will help the Lakers long-term.
The Lakers have used this offseason to get better, but at the same time have gotten older as a team. By doing this, the Lakers are putting everything they available into the next few seasons without sacrificing commitment into the extended future.
The youngest, big asset that the Lakers have is Andrew Bynum, but he is set to become a free agent after the season and has been discussed in potential trades. The Lakers could have forgone getting older and tried to establish a core of younger talent around Bynum for the future, it appears they are going in the other direction.
In the often-discussed Dwight Howard-saga, Andrew Bynum is one of the names most frequently brought up as the centerpiece of the Lakers' package. Shipping off Bynum for Howard would be another move towards getting even older, but much better in the next few seasons.
Jamison will come in and provide the Lakers depth at the power forward position. The Lakers have lacked quality at the position beyond Pau Gasol for much of his tenure. Jordan Hill was efficient at times down the stretch, but the free agent is unsigned to this point.
Jamison signing with the Lakers will be one of the underrated signings of the summer due to his age, but he's a quality player that improves a weak area for the team. The Lakers have are getting older, signing aged veterans, but are putting themselves in a position to compete for the next two seasons and possible a few more if Bryant sticks around.