NBA Free Agents and Trades: LA Lakers' Dream Offseason Plan
The Los Angeles Lakers are always in the news. It's a product of their past success and the fact that they are based in Hollywood. They're the high profile team and everyone wants to see the superstars on that team.
This offseason is no different. From late last year on, both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard have been rumored to LA. To be fair, when is the last time someone who was considered a superstar not been tied to LA?
This time, however, it seems rather plausible either one of these could end up in LA (let's go ahead and dismiss the notion LA gets both).
But what no one else is talking about is the fact that this team may be in for a complete change. With a new regime at the helm, Mike Brown may be looking to shake up the lineup.
It may not be ENTIRELY realistic, but let's look at what the absolute best case scenario for the Lakers would be.
Chris Paul to the Lakers
The proposed trade here, however, would be Chris Paul, Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, Steve Blake and Devin Ebanks.
This trade would work because the Hornets get two (near) seven-footers to pair with Carl Landry, a young swingman to replace Ariza, and get rid of their awful Okafor contract.
The only players under contract in New Orleans 2012-2013 would be Jarrett Jack and the four Lakers.
For the Lakers, they get the biggest jewel of the trade in Paul, get Ariza back, who worked well in LA in the past, and Okafor, who isn't bad. They also don't give up any future draft picks.
JJ Redick to the Lakers
If the Magic send away Dwight Howard, they'll be in rebuilding mode. That most likely means no one is untouchable and the Lakers should jump in on that.
The trade I think would work is Luke Walton, Andrew Goudelock, and a 2014 second-round pick for JJ Redick and a 2014 second-rounder.
This trade makes sense because the Magic would be able to absorb Walton's contract and get a young shooter to replace Redick. They also get another draft pick, which they'll have an abundance if they deal Howard.
JJ can come to the Lakers and give them an outside shooter they haven't had in a long, long time. He can stretch defenses and open up lanes for CP3. The Lakers also get rid of one of the most useless contracts.
Amnesty Metta World Peace
I loved the signing of then Ron Artest two summers ago. However, the contract was awful then, and it's awful-er now.
Artest is set to make $21.6 million over the next three years, but he does have a player option for the last two years.
However, the Lakers shouldn't risk; it's too much money for a guy that's anemic on offense and good only sometimes on defense.
While I'll be forever grateful for his heroics in Game 7 of the 2010 Finals, that's not enough to keep him at his current rate.
Instead, cut your losses, hand the reigns over to Ariza and move on at a much cheaper rate.
Sign Shane Battier
He was labeled the "No Stats All-Star" in a column in the past and that's the perfect way to describe this guy. He's the ultimate glue guy and every team could use a Shane Battier.
With Battier, you get a great defensive player and a capable offensive player. You basically get a big upgrade of what they have now in Ron Artest—just with less distractions.
Grant Hill could be signed in place of Battier too, but at 39 I do have concerns. Still, either would be great additions.
Sign Chuck Hayes
Chuck Hayes is someone who has given the Lakers all kinds of problems in the past. The best way to not lose to someone is to sign them.
Hayes wouldn't have a problem coming off the bench, and given the Chris Paul trade, the Lakers would need to add front court depth.
This would give them Okafor, Gasol, Hayes and Derrick Caracter, as well Matt Barnes and Battier, who could play limited time at the PF spot.
Hayes can come in and, despite being undersized, is an incredibly effective player.
He reminds me a bit of Charles Barkley (a poor man's version, obviously) in the way he utilizes all he has to get position and get after the ball. He'd fit in great with the Lakers.
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Trevor Ariza
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Emeka Okafor
G: Derek Fisher
F: Matt Barnes
F: Shane Battier
F: Chuck Hayes
G: JJ Redick
F: Derrick Caracter
G: Darius Morris
The Lakers would be an incredibly deep team. They'd be able to play all 12 guys, or further develop Character and Morris.
Davis, Battier and Hayes would be on short contracts so that guys like JJ, Caracter and Darius Morris can take over in the future.
This team would certainly be one that could challenge for a title and probably be better than last year's squad.
And remember, I said it wouldn't be ENTIRELY realistic.