The Los Angeles Lakers’ attempts to acquire superstar center Dwight Howard may have taken another turn for the worst as it appears the Orlando Magic will make their best efforts to convince him to stay rather than trading him before next season.
With talks to land Howard beginning to die down, the Lakers will direct their attention to signing another free agent in order to continue improving the bench. The area the Lakers must address after re-signing Jordan Hill and locking up Antawn Jamison to a one-year deal is the backcourt.
One problem the Lakers had last season was having a viable backup for Kobe Bryant at shooting guard. After the departure of Shannon Brown via free agency, the Lakers were unable to find a suitable replacement.
Fortunately, a few free agent options are available for the Lakers with veteran guard Roger Mason Jr. being one of them according to Michael Lee of The Washington Post:
“Oklahoma City, New Orleans, Chicago and the Los Angeles Lakers have also expressed interest in Mason.”
Even though Mason appears to be a viable option for the Lakers off the bench, they may have some trouble convincing him to sign for the veteran’s minimum. Mason has made it clear that he doesn’t intend on making a return to the Washington Wizards for the veteran’s minimum.
Last season, Mason averaged 5.5 points per game while shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc. Mason played in 52 of 66 games for the Wizards last year.
It remains uncertain at this point in time how much interest Mason may have in playing with the Lakers as they will only be offering the minimum.
Obviously, playing for the minimum in Los Angeles rather than in the nation’s capital is a huge difference. The prospect of winning an NBA title may be enough to convince the 31-year-old guard to sign with the Lakers for that price.
Mason had a breakout year back in the 2008-09 NBA season averaging 11.8 points per game and shooting 42 percent from three-point range for the San Antonio Spurs.
Other notable options at shooting guard in free agency for the Lakers are Delonte West, Michael Redd, Tracy McGrady, Leandro Barbosa, Jodie Meeks and Martell Webster.