Now that the owners and players have reportedly agreed on a deal to end the lockout there are many questions facing each NBA team. Each team is going to have to adjust to the new collective bargaining agreement and begin to run their franchise accordingly.
One of the big questions facing each team is the newly instated amnesty clause. Essentially, this is a get out of jail free card that allows each team to cut one player from their roster without having to take on the burden of their contract.
For the Lakers, all signs are pointing to either Luke Walton or Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) as the likely candidates for amnesty. But, around the league there are several other high-profile players that may be facing the same scenario.
Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times mentioned in his column on Saturday that of the possible players facing the amnesty guillotine, three may be perking the interests of the Lakers.
Rashard Lewis and Baron Davis are two likely amnesty candidates that could find a new home in Los Angeles. Many may remember the rumors that Davis wanted to return to L.A. to play for the Lakers next season, and this might give him an opportunity to do so.
Another option is former Atlanta Hawk, Jamal Crawford. The flashy wing player is a free agent after his contract with Atlanta ended.
Lewis is currently playing for the Washington Wizards, while Davis is a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. If both players end up getting the amnesty ax they could find themselves facing offers from the Lakers.
It’s no secret that the Lakers have been looking for some help in their reserves. Last season their bench struggled mightily with both production and injuries. During the championship runs from 2008-10 the Los Angeles bench was a major asset that helped propel the Lakers to two championships and three NBA Finals appearances.
Davis, Crawford and Lewis could each bring something to the table for the L.A. second unit. Lewis has earned a reputation as a consistent three-point shooter. Davis, a point guard, could add a new dimension that will be needed in head coach Mike Brown’s new offense, especially if the team doesn’t re-sign free agent Shannon Brown. Crawford could give the Lakers some defensive intensity and points off the bench.
Until these players and others like them are actually cut from their teams this is simply hearsay, but it’s interesting to look and see how each player could possibly fit in with the Los Angeles landscape. With a new offensive scheme and a rapidly aging roster, an influx of hungry, talented players might allow the Lakers one more shot at a championship.