Eric Bledsoe, Kevin Love, The New Laker Team?


Fansided’s own Josh Hill wrote about the Lakers interest in point guard Eric Bledsoe.

"According to ESPN insider Chris Broussard, the Lakers are prepared to make a serious run at Bledsoe this offseason and may end up overpaying him to wrestle the point guard away from the Phoenix Suns.!tZQAm"

Los Angeles is still a free agent attraction and the Laker brand is what brings players in.  The season has not been an easy watch.  Games have been played close, but not ending with prevailing victory.  Still, the rumors fly about Kevin Love, and now Eric Bledsoe, coming through free agency and becoming Laker players.

Is this the team you imagined?  Perhaps it’s because it’s a new idea, but it isn’t the team I imagined.

The Lakers are slotted #6 in the draft with their lottery pick.  The team is over the cap, full of expiring contracts, and seemingly, few trade able pieces.  Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake, Xavier Henry, and Jordan Farmar are still out with injury.  Pau Gasol is simply playing through his.  The team is absolutely beaten up physically and spiritually.  It’s hard to find peace in a losing environment.

While the team struggles, the front office is doing what it can to explore improvement.  Sometimes improvement is temporary, such as the additions of Kendall Marshall and Manny Harris, just to patch up any kind of competitive roster.  But the improvement they’re looking for is long-term, and acquiring players such as Kevin Love and Eric Bledsoe can spark a new style of Laker basketball.

Kevin Love is a well-known player.  He has 3-point range, a motor for rebounding, and plays solid position defense.  His post game is underrated, but he doesn’t use is as often as he used to during his UCLA days.  Still, he’s the kind of power forward that Mike D’Antoni would love to run an offensive through, simply because he can set an effective screen and hit 3-point bombs behind the arc, all day long.

Eric Bledsoe is a physical beast of a point guard.  Unlike most point guards in the league, he can hang with them athletically in terms of quickness, outright speed, and explosiveness to the rim.  There are times when he is so fast in a half-court set, the help rotation defense is always late by the time he’s at the rim.  He also has a frame that carries some muscle to it, so he can fight off contact at the rim as well.  While his game is completely based on speed, his improving court-vision and relentless energy make him a potential triple double threat.  Unfortunately he’s been out with a knee injury since December 30th, but recovery from a knee injury dating back to 2011 showed no ill-affects on his dangerous athletic abilities.  He needs to get a focused set-shot from the 3-point line and understand when to best use the athleticism in a half-court set, but he’s a player coming into his own and fulfilling his potential.

In the end, the Laker brand is fueled by star power.  Eric Bledsoe and Kevin Love do not shine in the same light as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but it’s possible they can become cornerstone pillars for a team trying to compete for a championship again.

Perhaps the star power, has to be found in the draft.