2013 Free Agents LA Lakers Could Steal on the Cheap
The Los Angeles Lakers enter into the 2013 free-agency period well over the salary cap, but still have a few options to add talent.
Teams over the cap can always sign players for the league minimum, and the Lakers also possess the tax payer mid-level exception of $3.183 million.
While this won't bring in any huge names off the market, it could still be used to add a key role player to the Lakers roster for next season.
Here are eight free agents the Lakers could snag at a bargain price.
Wayne Ellington, SG
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2012-13 Stats Per Game: 7.9 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 12.29 PER
Ellington had a strong second half of the season following a trade to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A threat from deep, Ellington is a career 38.2 percent three-point shooter. A former first-round pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ellington will never become a star, but he is someone a team can rely on off the bench for quality minutes.
The Lakers were just 19th in the NBA in three-point percentage last season at 35.5 percent. Ellington would immediately improve their outside game and help open up the floor for their big men inside.
L.A. has reportedly already reached out to the former Cavalier, per ESPN.com.
Carlos Delfino, SG/SF
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2012-13 Stats Per Game: 10.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 13.39 PER
An eight-year NBA veteran, Delfino has proven to be a solid shooter and defender. His best season came in 2009-10 with the Milwaukee Bucks where he averaged 11.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists while starting 66 games.
Delfino would be a great role player given the fact that he can play either wing position and do a little bit of everything on the court.
It might not take all of the $3 million exception to sign Delfino either if they can promise him good minutes and a solid role off the bench.
Nick Young, SG
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2012-13 Stats Per Game: 10.6 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 13.38 PER
Young doesn't carry the promise of a star he once did, but is still an offensive threat the minute he steps onto a court.
The Lakers need shooters, and Young fits the bill.
A career 37.4 percent shooter from deep, Young would be an excellent sixth man for the Lakers and help ease the scoring load on Kobe Bryant.
The main concern with Young would be cost. Last season he earned $5.6 million with the Philadelphia 76ers and would have to take a substantial pay cut to play with the Lakers.
Given that he was born in Los Angeles and played college ball at USC, maybe he would consider giving L.A. a hometown discount?
Chris Copeland, SF
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2012-13 Stats Per Game: 8.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 16.89 PER
Copeland was a pleasant surprise with the New York Knicks last season and will be on multiple teams' radars this offseason.
The 29-year-old rookie showed a lot of offensive promise, has great size at 6'8", and can even knock down three-pointers (42.1 percent).
In the playoff series loss to the Indiana Pacers, Copeland was one of the few bright spots, connecting on 11 of 20 three-pointers.
While he's a restricted free agent, the Knicks' interest in a lot of other players may not allow them to match any offer that Copeland receives.
The Lakers could use his athleticism and outside shot to spread the floor.
Elton Brand, PF/C
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2012-13 Stats Per Game: 7.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 15.19 PER
Brand is already generating interest among veteran NBA teams, including the New York Knicks says ESPNNewYork.com.
The Knicks, like the Lakers, have just a $3 million exception to use on players and are targeting the veteran Brand.
At 6'9" and 254 pounds, Brand can still bang down low. His wide body would help the Lakers to clean the glass and provide lots of second-chance opportunities.
He would be a nice complement to Pau Gasol, who is thought of as a soft body but has tremendous offensive skill.
Whatever team lands Brand would be adding 14 years of experience and knowledge from the former No. 1 overall pick.
Corey Brewer, SG/SF
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2012-13 Stats Per Game: 12.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 14.76 PER
Brewer is one of the most underrated free agents this summer.
His 6'9" athletic frame allows him to play and guard multiple positions on the court. While he's not a great ball-handler or shooter, Brewer excels in the transition game and fast break.
Landing Brewer would mean a reliable backup for Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace and, at times, Pau Gasol.
The Sacramento Kings and Houston Rockets are said to have interest in Brewer, so the Lakers would have to move quickly and likely use all of their tax exception.
Matt Barnes, SF
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2012-13 Stats Per Game: 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 15.57 PER
A former Laker, Barnes had his best season in years with the L.A. Clippers in 2012-13.
A scrappy defender who can guard multiple positions, Barnes would be a great role player to bring back from the other team in L.A.
While he's not a great shooter, Barnes is effective at getting to the basket and can knock down the open three. A 10-year veteran who's played with eight different NBA teams, Barnes has seemed to have found a home in L.A., no matter which team he's playing for.
ESPN.com reports the Lakers have already reached out to Barnes about a possible reunion.
Chase Budinger, SF
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2012-13 Stats Per Game: 9.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 12.66 PER
Budinger, like others on this list, may ultimately prove to be too pricey for the Lakers.
Still, L.A. has reportedly expressed interest in the Minnesota Timberwolves forward, per ESPN.com.
A promising combo forward who can stretch the floor with his outside shooting, Budinger is also very athletic and handles the ball well. He would provide L.A. with a younger, more offensive-oriented backup for Metta World Peace and would represent someone the team could build around for the future.
The Lakers will have to act fast if they want Budinger, as 1500ESPN.com reports that the Minnesota Timberwolves have already met with three-year veteran and would very much like to bring him back.