Coming into the NBA free agency period last week, the Los Angeles Lakers were hoping to land one of the many prominent frontcourt players on the open market after drafting guard D’Angelo Russell last month.
Unfortunately, the team’s attempts to sign LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan fell flat forcing general manager Mitch Kupchak to shift gears. Although many already labeled the Lakers as one of the biggest losers in free agency, Kupchak and company were able to make a few deals that were impressive to say the least.
As a result of signing Lou Williams, Brandon Bass and trading for Roy Hibbert, Kupchak believes the Lakers have a shot at contending for a playoff spot next season, according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
Mitch Kupchak said it's a little early to tell, but "I don’t see why we don’t contend for a playoff spot."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 10, 2015
Along with some talented players added in free agency and through a major trade, the Lakers already had a solid core. Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and Russell should pave the way for the future of the franchise as the team attempts to bounce back from consecutive seasons without a playoff appearance.
With high hopes for the team’s young players and recent additions, the only question that remains is whether they’ll be able to produce as a unit on the basketball floor. The Lakers brass will get their first taste of what the young players on the squad can do during the NBA Summer League over the weekend.
As for Hibbert, Williams and Bass, the Lakers will have a wait a bit longer to see if they are truly the right pieces to the playoff puzzle in Los Angeles.