It's easy to get caught up in all the hoopla concerning the beginning of the free agency signing period, but if the Los Angeles Lakers are smart they should look the other way.
Sometimes it's hard to make order out of the chaos which is July 1st, and a typical response would be for the Lakers to react to the various deals being made around them. But the franchise should keep in mind why the deals are being made.
The Lakers are coming off of their second consecutive NBA championship and their third Finals appearance in three years, and the rest of the league is desperately trying to keep pace.
Los Angeles has locked up each of its core players, with the exception of Derek Fisher, and the Lakers are presumed to figure prominently in title conversations for the next few seasons.
Each high profile free agent is well-aware that the road to a championship runs through Los Angeles, and most of the prevalent rumors circulating have that fact in mind.
That move would serve as the opening volley in an effort to dethrone the Lakers, but Los Angeles would be better served by letting other teams continue to give chase while it observe from their pedestal in the sky.
That's not to say the Lakers should not be active during this time; it's just not necessary to chase high profile players when you already have a championship roster.
The biggest areas of concern for the Lakers are a competent backup point guard and an extra forward who is versatile enough to defend in the post and on the perimeter.
Recent draft pick Devin Ebanks may fill the need at forward, and I'm not sure there are many lower tier point guards I would sign before Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar.
Steve Blake has been tossed around as a possible target for the Lakers, and I don't think he would be a bad choice. But is he really that much better than Farmar or Brown?
Blake certainly doesn't have the championship experience of Brown and Farmar, and the chemistry they are already a part of would be something any new player would be forced to learn.
Ron Artest is a much more critical player than anyone the Lakers would target, but it took him nearly the entire season before he was fully comfortable in the Lakers' scheme.
And the extra year of experience surely doesn't hurt the confidence of the reserves. Despite constant criticism throughout the regular season, they still played a pivotal role in capturing this season's championship.
I'm not saying the bench problems were not a legitimate issue, but based on the results of the past two seasons they may have been blown out of proportion a little bit.
The Lakers won this season's championship as a team, and regardless of what any other franchise does in the free agency signing period they will still be one of the more talented teams assembled.
That last statement is not an opinion, but a fact. A healthy Lakers' team comprised of the same roster has just as much a chance of repeating their feat as a team with unfamiliar players.
If Los Angeles does decide to pull the trigger on a deal, it should keep in mind it's much easier to reach a championship with players who understand what it takes to win one.