We know that the Lakers biggest free agent target is Dwight Howard, and likely no other moves will be made until the big man makes up his mind. But once the biggest domino of the offseason falls, the Lakers will have to make some moves to fill out the rest of their roster. The Lakers don’t have a lot of wiggle room in luring free agents. They have the ability to offer their tax payer mid-level exception, which is a possible 2-year $3 million per year deal. Last season the Lakers managed to get Antawn Jamison for the veteran minimum, and will certainly be looking for more bargains like that this offseason. Here are some potential free agents the Lakers could get for a bargain.
Ronnie Brewer, Small Forward
Ronnie Brewer has been in the league for seven seasons now and we know what he is. Brewer is an athlete who is most effective on offense when he is cutting to the basket. He isn’t a shooter and won’t develop into one, but he can provide some athleticism and defense on the wing, which the Lakers sorely need. He didn’t get much playing time last season on the Knicks and Thunder, so his price tag will be in the Lakers price range.
Aaron Brooks, Point Guard
Aaron Brooks has had a strange NBA career. In the 2009-10 season for the Rockets, Brooks averaged 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game, while shooting 39.8% from beyond the arc. Brooks missed the entire 2011-12 season while playing in China during the NBA lockout. Last season he started the year with the Kings and ended the year on the bench for the Rockets. This drop off in production would make sense if Brooks were in his 30s, but he is only 28 years old. The Lakers could take a flyer on Brooks hoping he could find some of the magic he had in his first run with the Rockets.
Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, Point Guard
Gibson has played for the Cavaliers his entire career and is simply a three point specialist. He had the worst season of his career in terms of three point shooting last year, hitting only 34.4% compared to his career average of 40.7%. The largest problem with Gibson is his inability to stay healthy. He has never played more than 75 games and that came in the 2008-09 season. Gibson has played 81 games over the past two seasons. If Gibson were to sign for the minimum, it would be a good deal. If he were to sign for the midlevel exception, it could be a huge bust.
Anthony Morrow, Shooting Guard
Morrow is another three point shooter coming off of a down year. Morrow is a career 42.4% three point shooter, who shot only 37.2% last season. Morrow is another player who has struggled to play a full season, playing in a career high 69 games in the 2009-10 season. He played for Atlanta and Dallas last season, never completely finding a role for either team. Put on a D’Antoni coached team and Morrow could thrive.
Lamar Odom, Power Forward
Hold back your laughter. Odom is a far cry from the player he once was. He isn’t capable of being the third option on a contender, as he was on his first stint with the Lakers. But Odom still has size and versatility. Could being paired back with Kobe Bryant help motivate LO to play at a higher level than he has these past two seasons? Regardless, Odom will be in the Lakers price range and taking a look at him couldn’t hurt.
None of these players would make Lakers fans jump for joy if they signed, but aside from Dwight, no free agents will. Each player on this list would address a need for the Lakers, even Odom if he could improve his play. Each player has their own upside and positives that they would bring to the Lakers as well as some negatives. That’s the price the Lakers pay for being above the luxury tax.