When Phil Jackson arrived as a Laker coach back in 1999, one of the first things he did was bring his assistant team. Not only did he bring his coaching staff, he brought in a few players to help implement the system; the triangle offense. John Salley and Ron Harper were added to the team. They helped stabilize the offensive execution and put Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant places to where they could succeed.
It looks like Kobe Bryant is doing a bit of the same. It would only make sense to bring back Steve Blake and Caron Butler to complete the core team.
If Lakers do get Melo – and Pau – speculatively I could see Steve Blake and Caron Butler back with team – I hear Kobe recruiting both
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) July 8, 2014
While Laker fans are waiting for Carmelo Anthony‘s decision, the rest of the roster is being sorted out. Adding Carmelo Anthony to the team would likely lead to Pau Gasol returning to the Lakers. Having them as a trio would make for a solid nucleus to build around. Why not have guys that are familiar with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol?
Kobe Bryant hated it when Steve Blake got moved to the Golden State Warriors.
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) February 20, 2014
It makes sense to acquire veterans for a veteran team, especially with a short window. Julius Randle can learn a lot from each of those guys, not just from a skills standpoint on the basketball floor, but also about professionalism and NBA life.
The team could resemble the 1972 Lakers team offensively. Wilt Chamberlain was the hub of the offense between leading scorers Jerry West and Gail Goodrich. Pau Gasol could just as easily be a facilitator from the high post to feed Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony.
Caron Butler and Steve Blake add veteran savvy and grit. Both guys would be great fits around the Laker core, even if it is short term.
It would be a welcome sight to see returning Laker players as being key members of the team again. Adding Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, and Carmelo Anthony would be a tremendous offseason, adding to the Laker core.