Posted by: Wilson | June 30, 2008

Kupchak’s Targets

Is this lanky lefty in Kupchak’s crosshairs?

While the 08-09 roster is essentially set, Kupchak could wheel-and-deal this offseason. To start with, the main “weaknesses” in the Lakers roster are at the small forward and point guard positions. I have divided potential targets into how they can be acquired (ie. free agency and trade).

Free Agency

Point Guards (depth only)

Should Derek Fisher go under with an injury next season, Jordan Farmar cannot handle the point all by his lonesome. The Lakers will not be looking for a starting point guard or a point guard of the future; they will most likely sign a veteran guard.

Anthony Carter and Anthony Johnson

The elders are Anthonys Johnson and Carter. They will be 34 and 33, respectively. Farmar is miles ahead in skill, but then again, they will only be needed for depth. I say the Lakers sign Carter; better shooter and a tad younger than Johnson.

Carlos Arroyo

Carlos Arroyo will probably not sign for the minimum, but he would give some great play. He was a solid reserve for the Orlando Magic last season.

Shaun Livingston

Shaun Livingston has not played basketball in a long time, but he showed some promise earlier in his career. If the Clippers do let him go free, he would be a cheap flier.

Small Forward (starter)

If the Lakers do in fact delve into free agency for a small forward, it will be to secure a starter. The roster already boasts a number of small forwards (Ariza, Luke Walton, Radman, Lamar?), so no backups needed. However, I do not see any signings happening since there is such a glut on the roster. A trade will most likely be used to acquire a small forward.

Corey Maggette

Corey Maggette has opted out, but is looking for a big deal. I do not think he would fit in well with the Lakers, mostly because he needs a lot of possessions (Kobe’s possessions). He is also not too good defensively, which would be a must at this position.

James Posey

James Posey hasn’t been a starter since his first season in Miami, but I think he could start and give the same production he gives off the bench. Posey plays excellent defense, as we saw, and he is great at shooting the trey. If we can sign him for less than the mid-level it would be a steal.

Mickael Pietrus

Mickael Pietrus was buried on the depth chart in Oakland, but he has enough talent to be targeted by the Lakers. He shoots decently from three and can play solid defense. But, do we already have a player just like him in Ariza?

Trade

Point Guard

I can’t see any scenario where the Lakers would acquire a point guard in a trade, other than a throw-in as a part of a much bigger deal (see below).

Small Forward

Acquiring a small forward in a trade is the most likely scenario. Lamar Odom will be moved as part of any deal in the off season.

Shawn Marion

Marion and the Heat are on the outs with each other, especially after Michael Beasley was drafted. They could use Odom’s versatility and the Lakers could use Marion’s defense. Marion wouldn’t spread the court with his shot, but we have Vlad for that. Also, Marion’s speed and athleticism would be tremendous for the team. He can also play both forward positions well.

How: A trade straight up for Lamar Odom could do this deal.

Ron Artest

Ron Artest is one of the best wing defenders in the NBA, alongside Marion and Shane Battier. He can shoot the three decently enough for his defender to respect it. Artest is probably not opting out, and the Kings want to get some value from him before he inevitably leaves Sactown.

How: The Lakers would trade Lamar Odom and receive Artest and either Mikki Moore or Shareef Abdur-Rahim as well.

Tayshaun Prince

Tayshaun is another great wing defender, and is looking to be dealt in the Joe Dumars fire sale. Like the other small forwards here, he can spread the floor adequately with his three point shot. He also has some great post moves, for his position, as well as a great jump shot. Again, will Prince essentially be a slightly upgraded Ariza?

How: I doubt Joe Dumars would pull a Lamar Odom for Prince and Amir Johnson deal. It will probably have to involve some other teams.

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Responses

  1. Baron Davis has opted out of his contract. Sign & trade Baron for Lamar. Try to get Magette for the mid-level. If Magette doesn’t bite, and if Sacramento won’t take scrap (Luke and/or Vlad) make do next year with Ariza in the starting lineup. This gives you two possible starting lineups:

    PG: B. Davis
    SG: K. Bryant
    SF: T. Ariza
    PF: P. Gasol
    C: A. Bynum

    Don’t like that, then move Ariza to the first guy off the bench and go with:

    PG: B. Davis
    SG: S. Vujajic
    SF: K. Bryant
    PF: P. Gasol
    C: A. Bynum

    Championship!


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