As free agency has kicked into gear, and all of the major pieces falling into place, the Lakers have been oddly quiet. Trading for Jeremy Lin, re-signing Nick Young and Jordan Hill have been the only moves. The Lakers still have cap and roster space that needs to be filled up, but very limited resources to bring in a promising player.
When the Lakers front office put forth the idea that they had a “Plan B” waiting to be put into motion if Carmelo Anthony spurned their max contract offer, most fans thought it would include chasing a restricted free agent such as Greg Monroe, Lance Stephenson, or Eric Bledsoe. Maybe even taking back Carlos Boozer’s contract once it became clear that Pau Gasol was headed to Chicago, but that didn’t happen either. So what exactly was the Lakers “Plan B”?
Re-signing Nick Young to a 4-year/$21.5 million made fans happy. The Lakers expect him to continue his role of coming off the bench and being instant offense. Players like Young can definitely be assets, and at slightly over $5 million per season, it isn’t as devastating to the cap as certain media types like Colin Cowherd and Zack Lowe make it out to be.
The Jordan Hill signing seems to go deeper than what was given on the surface. By giving him a 2-year deal with a team option for the 2nd, Hill is essentially on a one year deal. At $9 million this season, he is relatively pricey, but I have a hunch the Lakers signed him with the intention of dealing him near the trade deadline if they aren’t in contention. A big man who can rebound and defend with energy is certainly desirable for a team making a playoff push. With the team option for the 2nd year, teams looking to trade can either view him as cap relief, or potential help for the future.
But these moves don’t make a ton of sense. The Lakers had an awful record last season and their only free agency moves have been to retain a couple members from that horrendous team.
Where is the outside help? Are the Lakers waiting for the market to dry up and swoop up players on minimum deals? Is there another trade in the works?
With so many questions and so few answers, I have to wonder, what are the Lakers doing?