Why Plan B Was Better Than Plan A for the Lakers


The first few days of free agency were brutal for the Lakers. Failed attempts at LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Jordan and Greg Monroe had Lakers fans furious and thinking this was a repeat of last offseason’s fiasco.

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Yet the same day Aldridge signed with San Antonio, Indiana agreed to trade Roy Hibbert to us. Not exactly the player Lakers fans hoped for, but actually a much better fit than Aldridge. Julius Randle is slotted to start at the Power Forward position, but at center we have a gaping hole which Hibbert can fill. Hibbert has experienced some playoffs letdowns in seasons past, but a change of scenery and an expiring contract can lift his game towards All-Star level. Rim protection is what Hibbert offers which pairs nicely with the offensive-minded Randle. At worst, Hibbert will be a Unrestricted Free Agent next summer, so if things don’t work out, he can be sent packing and cap space is opened up.

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The following day Lou Williams, reigning 6th man of the year, and Brandon Bass, workhorse for the Boston Celtics agreed to come to L.A. which only sweetened the pot. Williams is a potent scorer off the bench who can relieve either D’Angelo Russell or Jordan Clarkson and not miss a beat. Bass is a Byron Scott type forward who loves to do the dirty work and should have no problem filling the minutes that departed Ed Davis left behind.

With the new additions means current Lakers potentially are on their way out: Wesley Johnson (Clippers), Nick Young, Ryan Kelly, Jeremy Lin and Robert Sacre. Nothing is confirmed as of yet, but that could change in an instant. Last season’s team appeared to be unified in the locker room, but a lackluster bunch on the court. Even though it’s sad to see some of them go, it’s a business and the goal for the Lakers is to rebuild. Most believe the Lakers will go after the big names in free agency in 2016, but based upon recent history that might not work out well for them.

The Catch 22 with top talent in the NBA is they want to win now. Unless you build a team that can contend during the upcoming season, most free agents will scoff at your offer. The Lakers failed attempts in the past 2 offseasons have actually been a blessing in disguise. They are much better suited to add pieces slowly than try to speed up the process by hitting home runs. Acquiring Hibbert, Williams and Bass are examples of “base hits” that lay a foundation from being a player or two away. The lure of L.A is still there, but the main reason why the top free agents didn’t sign with the Lakers is because their roster wasn’t strong enough during the pitch.

The Lakers aren’t done re-tooling in the offseason and hopefully before the season starts, they will continue to make moves to win in the present as well as the future.

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