What the Lakers Off-Season Strategy Should Be


With about 2 weeks left in the season, all signs point to what the Lakers will do in the offseason. There’s been rumors about what the Lakers will do, but knowing Mitch Kupchak rarely does he reveal his plans. As fans all we can do is speculate, but based upon needs here is what the Lakers offseason strategy should be, in order of importance:

1) Centers: It may be a point guard heavy league, but big men still determine championships. The Lakers currently sit in the 4th position in the draft and unless they strike gold in the lottery, Jahlil Okafor and Karl Anthony-Towns will be out of reach. The Lakers can offer one max contract to a free agent, but they shouldn’t just throw to a big name out of panic.

Having a solid big man as your foundation on both sides of the court should be of utmost importance, so although they have a minute chance, offer it to Marc Gasol. If they strike out in the draft and with Gasol, other free agent centers worth considering are Greg Monroe, Robin Lopez and Omer Asik. All 3 aren’t franchise players to build your team around, but anything is an upgrade from Robert Sacre. Lakers management should also keep an eye on a disgruntled DeMarcus Cousins in Sacramento in case they move up in the draft and can package their pick to the Kings with Jordan Hill and Nick Young included.

2) Small Forwards: If the Lakers do stay in the 4th position, Justise Winslow can solve their need at the 3 spot. A versatile forward who can defend as well as handle the ball, he would fit nicely in the front court next to Julius Randle. Stanley Johnson from Arizona is also a solid pick moving forward since having size and speed is needed to compete here in the NBA.

Looking at free agents available Jeff Green (player option) is probably your most available player at this position behind LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard who aren’t going anywhere. Wesley Johnson has set the bar so low you could step over it, so the Lakers need to prioritize getting at least two small forwards to return to respectability. Since great big men are harder to find, the potential four draft picks the Lakers have may be the answer to filling the need at small forward.

3) Shooting Guards: A healthy Kobe Bryant can’t be depended on and Nick Young could be on the trading block this summer, so D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State) and Emmanuel Mudiay (China) are your best draft prospects. Since it’s going to be a rebuilding year, developing youth should be emphasized and the way Jordan Clarkson has panned out it gives the Lakers a blueprint for that.

More from Lakers News

If he didn’t tear his Achilles, Wesley Matthews (Portland Trailblazers) would have been one of the Lakers top targets in free agency and although Jimmy Butler is a better player there’s little doubt Chicago will let him walk.

4) Point Guards: Goran Dragic or Rajon Rondo are the most talked about free agents in Lakerland, yet that’s one of the few positions we have talent at. Clarkson is more of a combo guard, but his development late in the season is worth taking note. Jabari Brown could be a serviceable backup, so if anything the Lakers can pick up a veteran point guard to help mentor Clarkson or draft one in the late first or second round.

Isaiah Thomas and Chauncey Billups are the only examples of point guards who led their teams to championships in the last 30 years, so if history tells us anything betting the house on your floor general doesn’t win rings. The Lakers don’t need to bet the bank on a free agent point guard, instead focus on acquiring a strong center and small forward first.

5) Power Forwards: If there’s one position the Lakers are loaded at it’s the power forward. Kevin Love is rumored to leave Cleveland, LaMarcus Aldridge is an unrestricted free agent and Paul Millsap is worth a look. Yet any combination of Jordan Hill, Ed Davis and Tarik Black (can play both power forward or backup center) should be both economical and good enough.

Once again this is about prioritizing the Lakers strategy so since L.A. has decent options at the power forward, shopping at the 4 spot should be minimal. Maybe a second round pick in the draft can allow the Lakers to keep one (Hill, Davis, and Black) and let the other two walk for bigger deals.

In a perfect world, the Lakers would have less holes to fill, but that’s not the case. As fans, the draft will determine the free agency process, but hopefully management has backup plans in case their desired players don’t commit to L.A. The Lakers must abandon their belief that big name players will turn this franchise around. The Lakers will not be championship contenders overnight which means management, players and fans must be patient during this rebuild.

Next: Did Byron Scott Reveal the Lakers Free Agency Plans?

More from Lake Show Life