Fact or Fiction with the Latest L.A. Lakers Rumors
There are no offseasons in the NBA. Every day is spent trying to improve the team. Whether it's the players working to improve their games or the front office exploring trades and free-agent signings, the NBA is never static.
That's especially true if you're the Los Angeles Lakers, who are on a serious quest to capture their 17th championship. The Lakers have already fortified their roster by adding some key players like Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison, but they are still looking to add more depth or possibly make a blockbuster trade.
Here are the most recent rumors involving the Los Angeles Lakers and whether or not there's any validity to them.
Los Angeles Will Trade for Austin Daye
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Consider that veterans Tayshaun Prince and Corey Maggette and experienced-for-a-rookie Kyle Singler will likely start the season ahead of Daye at small forward, trading Daye this summer makes even more sense.
While it probably wouldn't take much to land Daye, he wouldn't be a good fit in Los Angeles. He plays small forward, which is currently being filled up by Metta World Peace and Antawn Jamison. On top of the depth issues, Daye doesn't provide anything that Los Angeles doesn't already have.
He's not a particularly good three-point shooter (33.7 percent for his career and 21 percent in 2011-12) or a great defender either. So while the Lakers could get Daye easily enough, if he doesn't provide any value, there's really no point.
The Lakers Will Sign Anthony Tolliver
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Free-agent forward Anthony Tolliver told the News-Leader that he's looking for the right situation when signing his next contract.
“This is a very important time in my career,” Tolliver said in a recent telephone interview from his home in Minneapolis. “Getting into the right situation where I’m able to play and contribute to a team is very important.
“There are several teams that have shown interest and I’m weighing options. I’m taking my time and making sure my decision is a good one.”
The Lakers have been mentioned with Tolliver, so would Los Angeles be the right situation?
Tolliver is looking to be a contributor and that just isn't likely given the Lakers' depth. Tolliver's a backup forward that has some range on his shot, but Los Angeles already has one of those in Josh McRoberts. Pau Gasol can also shoot well for a big man.
Tolliver's other skill is defense. However, with Jordan Hill backing up at power forward and center, there's no reason for L.A. to sign Tolliver.
Anthony Tolliver is a player that's got some value, but he doesn't fill any needs for the Lakers. There's really no reason for them to sign him.
Jodie Meeks Is a Good Fit for the Lakers
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According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld.com, the Los Angeles Lakers have expressed interest in Jodie Meeks.
I talked to Jodie Meeks earlier today and the Lakers are definitely still in the mix. He’s weighing his options right now. He has also received interest from the Bucks and Wizards. Now that C.J. Miles has decided to sign with the Cavaliers, I think that increases the likelihood of Meeks signing with L.A.
Meeks could be a nice fit in L.A. with his marksmanship from long range. The Lakers ranked 27th in three-point percentage last season at 32.6. With Meeks shooting 37.1 percent from three-point range throughout his career, adding him to the mix would be a definite upgrade.
With Steve Nash now in the fold, Los Angeles has someone who can find the open man. By adding Meeks to the mix, L.A. will also have someone who can knock down those open shots.
Dwight Howard Is on His Way to L.A.
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There has been plenty of smoke involving the potential trade of Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard. Up to this point there's been no fire, but that doesn't mean the smoke won't continue. And continue it did with a report from Sam Amico of FOX sports.
The Magic hired Jacque Vaughn as their new coach Saturday — and may want to act quickly in putting together a roster that doesn't include the circus-like atmosphere created by the Howard saga, sources said.
That could mean again reaching out to the Los Angeles Lakers, a destination which Howard is said to be open. It could also mean possibly trying to involve a third team with the assets and salary-cap room to help facilitate a deal, such as Cleveland or Houston.
While there's apparently still the possibility of the Lakers acquiring Howard in the near future, it doesn't seem likely at this point. Los Angeles has the pieces to get Howard, especially if a third team helps to complete the trade, but you'd have to think that if the Magic were really intent on dealing Howard in the offseason that they would have done it already.
Orlando loses leverage with every day they drag this thing out. At this point, the Magic's best option would be to move Howard at the deadline. The Lakers might be able to trade for Howard then, but it's unlikely he'll be moved to Los Angeles during the offseason.
Paul Pierce Will Finish His Career with the Lakers
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Paul Pierce recently said (via Boston Globe) that he'd like to test free agency at least once before he retires.
“I think I am going to play this one out,” he said. “I want to see what it feels like to be a free agent for once in my life. I think I am going to play this one out. A lot can change in two years. My body [may not] be where I want it to be, I could retire, a lot of things could happen. I love the game. I made as much money as I possibly can. It’s about winning a championship and if I feel like it’s the right thing to do, maybe so [come back]. If I solidify my third year, maybe they opt out, so it’s about keeping your options open.”
Pierce is only under contract for 2012-13, with the Celtics also holding an option for 2013-14. If Boston decides not to pick up his option then he'd be a free agent next offseason. Even if the Celts pick up the option, Pierce would be a free agent for the 2014-14 season.
As LakersNation.com points out, Pierce is a Los Angeles native and grew up a Lakers fan. So will Pierce end up signing with L.A. when he's a free agent?
It's tough to say what will happen. It's difficult enough to predict what will happen next week, let alone a year or two from now. You don't know what type of player Pierce will be at that point. We're also unsure what state the Lakers will be in at that time.