Mar 21, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Nick Young (0) reacts after given a technical foul in the second half of the game against the Washington Wizards at Staples Center. Wizards won 117-107. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Making Sense of the Laker Signings and Plan A

When the Lakers lost out on the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, the Lakers signed two players within a few hours.  The Vegas Pro League team just started the first quarter.  Next thing we know, Nick Young and Jordan Hill were signed.

Jeremy Lin was an unexpected signing.

Why would the Lakers destroy the cap space?  Why not go after Isaiah Thomas and Lance Stephenson more assertively? Don’t they have a strategy for the off-season?

I liken strategy to the game of chess.  Yes, the goal is to get a checkmate.  In order to do that, the pieces have to be in the right position to strike.

What does chess have to do with this? What do their signings mean?  Don’t the Lakers have a plan?

Nick Young was signed to a four-year deal at $21.5 million.  He is getting paid to league average for the next four years. Considering he is a perennial sixth-man of the year candidate, it’s an excellent contract.  If things don’t work out, Nick Young is a great trade piece at that contract.

Jeremy Lin could be considered a steal.

The Rockets sent a 2015 first-round pick and other draft considerations to the Lakers to unload the final year of Lin’s $14 million expiring contract that includes a salary cap hit of $8.3 million based on the deal’s structure. –  Adrian Wojnarowski Yahoo Sports

When everything was finalized, the Lakers took less of a cap hit relative to Lin’s contract.  It is also an expiring contract. Jeremy Lin will be prime for a breakout year to play for his next contract.  Chances are, he’ll prefer to stay on the Lakers. He may be overpaid now, but in return, the Lakers got a 1st round pick and a 2nd round pick in 2015.  In the end, the Lakers acquired an above average point guard with the ability to finish, hit behind the arc at a good percentage, and can be a key contributor to the Laker roster after this year.  The draft picks are just icing on the cake.

Jordan Hill was signed to a short 2-year deal at $18 million.  Hill fills out a stat sheet with great numbers in limited time. When the Lakers tried to get him more minutes into December, he burned out quickly and production dropped considerably.  Hill has improved every year since he was a Laker.  He stayed quiet when his playing time was inconsistent under Mike D’Antoni.  He didn’t get much playing time under D’Antoni in New York.  A two-year deal sets the tone for the off-season of 2016. While it’s an $18 million dollar deal, the best way for it to work was to overpay Hill in order to get a shortened contract.  Who knows?  He may be resigned as Laker after that.

The Lakers signed these players.  Not only do they make financial sense, but they make business sense.  Plan A is in 2016. The value of the player by contract is very high, considering how well it sets the team up for Plan A.

What is Plan A?

The following free agents are available in 2016:  Deron Williams, Jarrett Jack, Mike Conley, Kevin Durant, Demar DeRozan (player option), Nicholas Batum, Al Horford, David Lee, Joakim Noah, JaVale McGee, and Nene Hilario.

 

The full list can be found at this link by BasketballInsiders.

Plan A, is just setting the pieces up.  In 2016, the Lakers will look to strike.

Tags: Jeremy Lin Jordan Hill Lakers Nick Young

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