Our own Jacob Rude gave us a list of the free agents that the Lakers are going after. While the team is looking to round off the roster with talent, this may just be a short-term solution.
In order to rebuild quickly, at least one franchise player needs to be on the team. With the uncertainty of Kobe’s production next year, he may not be the franchise player he once was. Crowd favorites Nick Young and Kent Bazemore can’t be made priority as Laker signings just yet.
It is right to go after LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony, even if the interest is lukewarm. You can’t hit if you don’t swing, right? At least, it’s known that the Lakers are interested in signing each of them, but the interest in return doesn’t seem so high.
Unfortunately, going after starting players isn’t going to cut it. As great as Greg Monroe, Kyle Lowry, Trevor Ariza, and Channing Frye can be for a team, championship aspirations are not built around them. They are excellent starters when they are playing the right role.
The Lakers don’t even have a coach. How can they know what players they want? How can they know what system to run? It seems like a plan to go through a list of priorities and acquire the best talent possible. Maybe that is the plan, but it isn’t detailed or thorough. Do you want the right mix of players together? What if they’re playing in the wrong system? Do the players know each other? Or, will there be team chemistry issues with personality conflicts?
It would look different if the Lakers were to go after LeBron James, Kyle Lowry, and Channing Frye as a trio. LeBron would carry the weight, but Lowry is very competitive and Frye can provide the spacing. Let’s not forget that Bryant is still on the team. Can Pau Gasol still be retained with the Lakers owning his bird rights? As a starting unit, that lineup would look scary. That looks like a real plan.
The worst case scenario is signing free agents that make minimal impact to a team. Team cap gets tied up. Future plans get delayed. Opportunities to land other franchise players get thrown away. Sometimes it isn’t easy to just acquire players through trade.
Sometimes, if you swing for the fences, you get a home run.
The Lakers have gotten good at that in the past. They just need to do it again.