The Los Angeles Lakers just won their second championship in a row and look to be the best team going into next season as well.
With free agency starting tomorrow, teams will be doing their best to stock up on superstar players in order to rival the back-to-back champions solid roster.
The Lakers need to do some work during the off-season in order to reload for a possible three-peat next season. Let's see some of the guys on the open market that they should be looking at (in no particular order).
If the Lakers lose their veteran point guard, Derek Fisher, Steve Blake would be a good fallback plan.
Blake is 30-years old, but he certainly has some miles left in his legs. He isn't going to wow you with his numbers, but he is a solid player on both ends of the court and would be a good back-up point guard no matter where he ends up.
Over the past 10 years of Lakers basketball, Derek Fisher is probably the second most respected/loved player in the city of Los Angeles, next to Kobe Bryant of course.
Fisher has lost a step, no doubt about that. Still, he plays hard on defense, hits tough shots and is a great secondary leader on a team with Kobe leading the way.
Kobe says he needs Fisher to win championships, so the Lakers front office better do their best to sign him back.
Johnson is a young, developing power forward who could see some minutes backing up Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum. The current backup for the Lakers in that role (besides Lamar Odom sliding into the PF spot) is Josh Powell.
Being 23 years old, Johnson may not want to join the Lakers because of his own personal goals, but it would be a good deal for him if he wanted to win a championship.
Plus, if the Lakers get the next guy on my list, Johnson would feel right at home in LA.
There have been rumblings of a sign-and-trade deal between the Lakers and Raptors involving Chris Bosh and Andrew Bynum for a while now, and that would be a fairly good deal for LA.
Bosh is an elite power forward and would give the Lakers one of the best post-tandems in NBA history.
His presence would be a huge upgrade offensively over Andrew Bynum, who is generally inconsistent in the post.
I'm sure if Kobe Bryant gets hold of him, all of the doubts of his defensive ability would fade away and he would all of the sudden be a good defender. It's all about effort.
I can't remember how many times Shannon Brown came into a game this year and made a huge impact in a little amount of time.
Whether it was his high-flying dunks or his stout defense, Brown was a solid player for LA all year long.
At only 24 years old, Brown has room to grow in his all-around game, so there is a lot of potential here.
The Lakers may not have the cash to lure Brown back to the team in a backup role, but Brown may want to stick around because he could move up a spot on the depth chart if Jordan Farmar decides to leave.
Farmar isn't likely to stay in LA if he wants to get a chance at being a starter, but if he is just a little more patient, he could get his chance in his hometown.
Derek Fisher may be coming back this year, but who knows how many more years he has left in the tank?
In limited time, Farmar played a bit inconsistently for the Lakers and struggled a bit leading the triangle offense, but there is also a question about how long the triangle offense (and Phil Jackson) will be in LA.
If the situation is right for the Lakers to bring Farmar back, they should. Period. He has too much talent to let him go and start on a rival team.
Morrow may be looking for more minutes, but the Lakers could use a sharp shooter off the bench, especially since Sasha Vujacic's contract is up after next season.
The 24-year old guard averaged 13 points per game last year on 47 percent shooting (46 percent from three-point land).
The Lakers might need a guy who is able to come off the bench to spell Kobe Bryant, but still be able to produce offensively. Morrow could be that guy.
Although the Lakers have Bynum and Gasol, they should probably look at adding a legitimate back-up center.
Haywood was traded to the Mavs in the Josh Howard-Caron Butler swap last year, and he put up some good numbers after the trade.
The 7' center put up nine points and nine rebounds in 30 minutes a game last season, so he would see his minutes decrease if he went to LA, but he seems like a perfect fit for the Lakers.
Felton could be looking for a lot of cash as a 25-year-old point guard entering free agency for the first time, but the Lakers should still give him a look.
He is a pretty good playmaker right now at the point and still has room to grow as he enters his sixth year in the league.
Even though he probably hasn't tapped into all of his potential yet, the North Carolina product has averaged 13 points and six assists during his five-year career.
This obviously wouldn't be a good signing if the Lakers retain Jordan Farmar and/or Derek Fisher, but Felton would be a good backup plan at the point guard position.
In the past couple of years, T-Mac has been floated out there as a guy the Lakers have been interested in at the trade deadline. Now that he is a free agent, maybe LA will now make a run for him.
Sure, he's not the superstar he once was and probably wouldn't get starting minutes on this Lakers team, but I'm sure he is dying to win a championship and would love to play with Kobe Bryant.
He still has some talent left and could be a good backup to Ron Artest if the Lakers decide to go after him.
Best Case Scenario:
Sign and trade with Raptors: Chris Bosh for Andrew Bynum and others.
Re-sign Derek Fisher as the starting point guard.
Re-sign Shannon Brown to back up Derek Fisher.
Sign Amir Johnson as a backup to Bosh at power forward.
Sign Anthony Morrow for guard depth and a shooter off the bench.
Sign Tracy McGrady to a one-year deal and give him a chance to show he still has something left in the tank.
PG: Fisher, Brown
SG: Bryant, Morrow, Vujacic
SF: Artest, Walton, McGrady
PF: Bosh, Odom, Johnson
What's your best case scenario?