Lakers: Who is The Best Free Agent to Pursue?

Leonard KalfayanCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2008

After the defection of Baron Davis to the Clippers, and the retention of Agent Zero and Antawn Jamison by the Wizards...FA speculation has turned to...

Elton Brand: Does he stay with the Clips, or is he lured away by the Warriors?

Josh Smith: Does he choose Philly or Golden State over Atlanta?

Corey Maggette: Does he sign with the Spurs, the Celtics, or the Magic?

Andre Iguodala: Does he get an offer that the Sixers don't match?

Monta Ellis: Does he leave Chris Mullin reflecting on a summer of disaster? 

James Posey: Does Boston lose him to someone else's full MLE? 

But, if you are one whose interest is Laker FA prospects, you can forget about any of these FAs...with one possible exception: James Posey.

Reports that the Lakers are willing to provide their full five-year MLE to Posey are well-founded. He could step in as the starting small forward. Trevor Ariza would provide further perimeter defensive depth. Lamar Odom can then come off the bench for 30-plus minutes and provide a most dynamic rotation up front. 

Posey would create a logjam at the 3, unless Vladimir Radmanovic or Luke Walton could be moved. Their contracts are considered by many to be albatrosses, but the two do have current value to certain teams. Walton would be the most expendable, based on his atrocious showing in the NBA finals.

Nevertheless, consider Posey to be a Laker longshot. Sure, they could use his defensive toughness and ability to hit timely threes. But, chances are he re-signs with the Celtics (or he re-joins the Rockets).

After the FA dust settles, the best addition the Lakers may make is the unheralded Quentin Ross. How desperately do the Lakers need SOMEONE to handle quick point guards on the perimeter? There isn't one FA in the whole bunch who fits that bill...except Ross.

Even if they have to let Sasha Vujacic walk, effectively adding Andrew Bynum, a healthy Trevor Ariza, and Quentin Ross would upgrade the Laker D substantially.