Very Early 2013 Free Agent Targets for L.A. Lakers

Danny Dukker@DannyDukkerCorrespondent IIAugust 17, 2012

Very Early 2013 Free Agent Targets for L.A. Lakers

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    The Los Angeles Lakers made a whole lot of noise this offseason and have slingshot themselves into championship discussion.

    They managed to acquire Steve Nash from the Phoenix Suns for only a few picks and just recently, pulled off a blockbuster trade to land Dwight Howard.

    Lakers now have arguably the best starting lineup in the league, but they are far from perfect. It’s difficult to predict how next season will play out, but in the Summer of 2013, expect the Lakers to make some moves in order to further ensure a championship.

    Here are some of the players they can pursue.

Tony Allen

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    The Lakers find themselves in a similar position to the Miami Heat. They need help, but don’t have the money to get the players they want.

    One way they can get around this problem is by targeting veteran players who are hungry for a championship. The Heat have done this with Shane Battier, Rashard Lewis, and Ray Allen.

    Tony Allen might be willing to take a pay cut in order to join the Lakers and he will greatly increase their chances of winning.

    Allen is arguably one of the best perimeter defenders in the entire NBA and he will be good weapon to have on the bench. He does not present any character concerns which is always a plus and he's very efficient player.

    Kobe Bryant is not the defensive player he once was and Allen would be able to easily pick up Kobe's man if there is any sort of problem.

Chauncey Billups

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    Another aging veteran who might want one more championship to put on his resume. The Lakers could use another solid point guard to get Steve Nash rest and Billups is a great option.

    His three point shot and smart play will be welcomed off the bench—as well as his leadership. Considering he will be 36 years old entering free agency, he will likely be willing to take a pay cut for such a great opportunity.

    With Billups coming off the bench, the Lakers could cut into Nash’s minutes to ensure he is completely ready for the postseason.

    Considering that 2014 will be the year Nash turns 40, the Lakers might want to think about going the San Antonio Spurs route and limiting his minutes the entire season. This makes Billups a cheap, but essential signing.

Mo Williams

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    Williams is a natural sixth man and will give the Lakers some scoring ability coming off the bench. Williams is not a natural point guard in the sense that he is a better scorer than passer, but his style complements Nash’s very well.

    It would give the Lakers a much different look if they have a shoot first guard on the floor instead of the pass first Nash.

    He is a very solid outside shooter (career 39 percent from range) and can slash through the defense to get the basket.

    While he will see a large pay cut if he decides to go to LA, it is still a strong possibility and you have to think the Lakers will at least put an offer on the table.

Nate Robinson

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    Nate would be an absolutely great pick up for the Lakers. He is a great bench player who plays with a ton of energy and can knock down the open jumper.

    Robinson is an efficient player and his role would be very similar to the one Mo Williams could play.

    Nate is a scorer off the bench, but he should be more receptive to taking a pay cut considering his current salary has him making less than a million.

    Robinson would be a terrific addition to the already stacked LA team and his personality would go very nicely with Hollywood.

    He is very charismatic and loves to entertain the fans. With him being on the same team as Dwight Howard, you can bet that they will provide some hilarious moments during the season.

Kyle Korver

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    Every championship team has one or multiple players whose main job is knocking down threes. Korver is one of the best shooters in the entire league and would be the perfect player to fill the spot for LA.

    He will be 32 and has never played in the NBA Finals which would add to his hunger. Mike Miller put on a display in Game 5 of the Finals by scoring 23 points and that was while he was playing hurt.

    The performance defied logic and showed just how badly a player can want to win.

    Korver has the ability to change the game with his shooting and any three point shooter becomes a hundred times more deadly when playing with Steve Nash (ex. Channing Frye).

    This would be a great way to open up the floor and considering the attention that Kobe, Dwight and Nash get, you have to think Korver would be getting a ton of open looks.

Kelenna Azubuike

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    Kellena is a very risky player for the Lakers here, but they should not overlook him completely. 

    Azubuike is another shooter the Lakers can add to their line up, but he also brings some tough defense to the table.

    He is versatile, can play guard and forward, which would boost his minutes on the Lakers. His salary is also very low which means that he will have no problem with the offer the Lakers will present.

    However, I can't discuss Azubuike without mentioning his recent injury history. In the last three seasons, he has played a combined 12 games.

    While that is a huge point, it also guarantees a low asking price, which is something the Lakers can't afford to ignore.

     

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