LA Lakers: 4 Ex-Lakers Mitch Kupchak Should Consider Bringing Back to the Team
Since the Los Angeles Lakers were eliminated from the 2011 playoffs at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, there has been nonstop chatter, from both fans and writers alike, concerning which players the team should attempt to trade for in hopes of getting back to the NBA Finals.
As crazy as it sounds, could there be former Lakers who, if brought back, could help the team hang another championship banner in the Staples Center?
This article will look at four ex-Lakers Mitch Kupchak should consider bringing back to the team.
I know, hindsight is always 20/20, but at the very least, this article will allow you to reminisce about some of your favorite former Lakers.
4. Jordan Farmar
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In his time with the Lakers, Farmar never meshed with Phil Jackson and his triangle offense, given his penchant for playing a more fast-paced style of basketball.
But with Mike Brown bringing a new offense to town, Farmar would likely be able to put his skill set to better use than he did playing within the confines of the triangle offense.
Not to mention that after the poor campaigns Steve Blake and Derek Fisher had in 2010-2011, Farmar may be welcomed back with open arms.
3. Ronny Turiaf
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Ronny Turiaf spent three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers before signing with the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2008.
When Turiaf was playing for the Lakers, he provided the team with three things: physical play, nonstop energy and quality minutes in the frontcourt as a backup.
When Andrew Bynum suffered his season-ending knee injury in 2008, Turiaf proved to be an adequate backup for Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom, as the team made a run to the NBA Finals.
Every team needs an energy player coming off its bench who is capable of “mucking” up the game.
Unfortunately, the Lakers have not had such a player since Turiaf left town.
2. Trevor Ariza
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After Trevor Ariza left the Lakers following the 2009 season, the team quickly signed Ron Artest to fill the void Ariza left at small forward.
Artest proved to be a valuable piece of the Lakers’ championship puzzle in 2010.
But it appears, Artest may have hit his ceiling with the team in 2010. The mercurial forward had arguably his worst season as a professional in 2011, averaging career lows in points (8.5) and rebounds (3.3) per game, in addition to his usually stellar defense starting to show signs of decline.
Not only does Ariza have more quality years in front of him than Artest, but he is also proven on the big stage, having helped the Lakers win a championship in 2009.
Would the Lakers have won the 2010 championship without Artest? I honestly don’t think they would have.
Would the team be better off with Trevor Ariza as its starting small forward next season? Probably.
1. Caron Butler
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Here is some trivia for everyone: Who did the Los Angeles Lakers (inexplicably) trade in exchange for Kwame Brown following the 2005 season?
If you answered Caron Butler, you are absolutely correct.
I understand the team was still trying fill the hole Shaquille O’Neal left in the painted area when he was traded after the 2004 season.
But Caron for Kwame?
Kwame was a huge flop in Los Angeles, and he is still the punch line of many jokes amongst Lakers fans.
Not only would Butler have continued to help Kobe Bryant during the team’s “lean years,” but I am sure the team wouldn’t mind having Butler’s services going forward as well.
Not only would Butler provide tough, quality play on both ends of the court, but he would also alleviate some of the pressure on Kobe to do so much scoring on the perimeter.