NBA Rumors: Lakers Are Jodie Meeks' Best Option by Far

David Daniels@TheRealDDanielsSenior Writer IJuly 31, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10:  Jodie Meeks #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center on April 10, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are always the best option.

According to the latest NBA rumors, free agent Jodie Meeks has a list of teams that he’s interested in signing with. If he was smart, though, he won't hesitate to sign with L.A.

Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld reported that Meeks talked about his options on the open market. He said:

I’ve gotten interest from the Lakers, Bucks and Wizards. There are five or six teams, but those three are at the forefront right now because I’ve been talking to them the most. I really like those teams and I like what they bring to the table. I’m looking forward to signing, whenever that may be.

First off, Los Angeles without a doubt gives Meeks the best chance to win a ring. But for a 24-year-old player, that may not be his No. 1 priority at this point in his career. Money is definitely on Meeks’ mind, and the Lakers would likely offer nothing more than the minimum salary.

That shouldn’t keep Meeks from pulling the trigger, though, even if the Bucks and Wizards’ offers trump the L.A.’s.

Why? Let’s take a look back at the Lakers’ history of transforming mediocre, unappreciated wings into sought-after talents.

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The New York Knicks drafted Trevor Ariza in the middle of the second round. After four years in the NBA, he hadn’t proven that he deserved to be paid any more than a second-round pick. But then the Orlando Magic traded him to the Lakers.

A year-and-a-half later, the Houston Rockets were offering him a deal worth around $6.6 million a year.

When the Charlotte Bobcats traded Shannon Brown to the Lakers, he was making the league minimum. The combination of a Hollywood audience and his high-flying slam dunks turned Brown from a nobody to a fan favorite. Now, he’s making $3.5 million a year with the Phoenix Suns.

Meeks wouldn’t make much money in L.A. right away. But you better believe catching passes from Steve Nash will make him look better than he really is. And because of that, in the long run, he’ll have an opportunity to cash in on a major payday just like Ariza and Brown did.

David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.