One of the biggest problems for the Los Angeles Lakers moving forward, after the acquisition of Steve Nash, is the bench. With arguably the worst bench in the league, the Lakers struggled last season to produce anything without all five starters on the floor.
Unfortunately, the Lakers no longer have the means to sign big-name free agents to bolster the bench due to the restrictions in the new CBA. With that being said, Los Angeles can only upgrade the bench with the mini-midlevel ($3 million per season) and veteran minimum ($1.4 million per season) contracts.
Signing considerable upgrades to come off the bench with so little to offer will be no easy task for GM Mitch Kupchak, but is by all means possible with veteran forward Antawn Jamison potentially considering the Lakers with a mutual interest from the team according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“The Lakers are in competition with several other teams for Jamison’s services, including Brooklyn, Golden State and Charlotte, and a source close to Jamison said on Thursday the Nets appeared to be his preferred destination at the moment.”
The addition of Jamison may be exactly what the Lakers need off the bench with the veteran forward coming off a great season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Last season, Jamison averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game with the Cavs.
At 36 years-old, Jamison believes he has much more basketball left in him and proved that with his impressive numbers last year. Unfortunately, the Lakers are only willing to offer Jamison the veteran’s minimum at this point while saving the mini-midlevel for a potential blockbuster trade scenario to land Dwight Howard.
So far, Jamison hasn’t ruled out playing in Los Angeles. Despite becoming a Laker intriguing Jamison, the veteran forward may ultimately sign with the Brooklyn Nets for more money and similar role.
With Jamison on the bench, Lakers coach Mike Brown will finally have some offensive firepower and a proven veteran to shoulder the load with Pau Gasol at the power forward position. Jamison might also be able to play some small forward, which will also be an asset for the Lakers.
Ultimately, signing Jamison for the veteran’s minimum would be a steal for the Lakers that will improve the second unit while giving insurance at the forward position.
The Lakers are currently still in discussions with free agent Jordan Hill, with a five-year deal potentially on the table worth about $3.6 million per season. There’s no indication how close the two sides are towards making a deal.