Top Free Agent Options Still Available for the Lakers

Top Free Agent Options Still Available for the Lakers


The off-season is in full swing and the Los Angeles Lakers have made a number of impressive moves to help solidify themselves as a contender heading into the 2012-2013 campaign. And still, the Lakers aren’t done searching for more talent to fill their bench.

The Lakers need contributors who can come off the pine and create a spark when the starters are resting. Although they already boast some promising young players who have the potential to develop into playmakers, the free agency market still holds some skilled players worth considering.

As of now, the only limiting factor for the Lakers is money. The salary cap is so far behind them it’s a dot in the distance. Their only logical option is signing someone who’s looking for an easy ride towards the NBA Finals at the veteran minimum.

Kenyon MartinWith that in mind, let’s take a look at some the Lakers’ best available options via free agency, what they would bring to the table and what it would cost the purple and gold to bring them to Los Angeles.

Kenyon Martin, Power Forward, Unrestricted Free Agent

When Martin was finally freed from China after spending the 2011 lockout overseas, he came back to the states looking for a new team. Although the Lakers showed interest in the former Denver Nuggets star, Martin opted to join the other Los Angeles team, the Clippers. Now, however, he’s back on the market and looking for another potential ride towards a ring.

While he’s definitely not the Martin of a few years back, he still can provide some support in a backup role. Martin brings energy, toughness and defense off of the bench and has the potential to even contribute on the offensive side of the ball. Put simply, he can still be a difference maker.

Even better for the Lakers is that they could probably get him for the veteran minimum. At this point, K-Mart is just looking to latch on with a contender and provide some support off of the bench. That’s exactly what the Lakers need and it’s the perfect price for a team already over the salary cap.

Brandon Rush, Shooting Guard, Restricted Free Agent

The Lakers have been searching far and wide this off-season in hopes of finding a suitable backup for Kobe Bryant at the two spot. Unfortunately, their efforts have yielded no significant results. Apart from picking up a promising young guard in the form of rookie Darius Johnson-Odom, the only other option at shooting guard that the Lakers have is second-year sharpshooter Andrew Goudelock.

In Rush, the Lakers would be getting a one-dimensional guard. Known more for his shooting than anything else, Rush excels from beyond the arch but is extremely limited as a defender. He was one of the worst defenders on a poor defensive Golden State Warriors team in 2011-2012.

Even though the Lakers brought Rush in for a workout back in mid-July, the Warriors have made it clear that they plan on matching any offer that their long-range expert receives. And especially since the Lakers have little money to throw at Rush, it’s unlikely he’ll be wearing purple and gold anytime soon unless another sign-and-trade materializes.

Michael Redd, Shooting Guard, Unrestricted Free Agent

The Lakers desperately need help in the shooting department and they need it to be cheap. Well, that’s where a player like Redd fits like a puzzle piece. Although age is quickly become a factor, Redd still has a potential to be a solid scorer night in and night out.

Michael ReddThe 32-year old shooter would provide the Lakers with a quality spot-up artist who can knock down shots consistently and spread the floor. The tread is wearing thin on his tires, but he still knows how to drive the lane and is a creative scorer, something that the Lakers’ bench unit was desperately missing after the departure of Lamar Odom.

The best part about a potential Redd-to-Lakers deal is that the aging shooter could easily cost them only the veteran minimum. Like the majority of their remaining free agent options, a quality veteran at a cost-effective price seems like a possibility worth exploring.

Jonny Flynn, Point Guard, Unrestricted Free Agent

As of right now, the Lakers are finally set at the starting point guard spot after acquiring veteran Steve Nash. Still, the backup spot is questionable at best with only Steve Blake and Darius Morris currently on the roster. Depending on how comfortable the Lakers feel about that particular situation, kicking the tires of Flynn could be an option.

Once considering a top-tier point guard prospect, Flynn has been a disappointment since entering the league in 2009. His shooting and facilitating skills are average at best, and his defense is inconsistent. He shot only 29.4 percent from three-point land last season and continues to underwhelm any team that gives him a shot. So much potential after becoming a top 10 draft pick, yet only a smidgen of it has been realized.

Reports have indicated that Flynn is back to full health and ready to contribute. Blake proved last season that he’s an inconsistent backup and Morris is still extremely raw. At least with Flynn, there’s that chance that he could break out with the right supporting cast and he has the speed to defend the league’s top point guards. And considering the way he played last season, expecting much more than the veteran minimum would only hurt his chances of catching on with another team.

Jodie Meeks, Shooting Guard, Unrestricted Free Agent

Much like Rush and Redd, Meeks would fill the void that the Lakers have at the backup shooting guard spot. He’s a veteran who has more experience the anyone else that the Lakers’ roster currently boasts and has several skills that would help the purple and gold offense.

Known for his three-point shooting, Meeks would be a worthy option who could spread the floor and provide Nash with a reliable target on the outside. His defense is below average and doesn’t have the facilitating skills that they’ll need from the bench unit, but the long-range shooting makes his tires worth kicking.

Considering that he’s coming off of a lackluster season with the Philadelphia 76ers, it’s likely that the Lakers could sign Meeks for the veteran minimum. Although he wouldn’t be much more than an occasional contributor off of the bench unless injuries forced him into the lineup, he’d upgrade the outside shooting and comes with an acceptable price tag.

The Lakers’ bench is filling out nicely as the off-season wears on, but they aren’t done making moves yet. Stay tuned as the pine squad continues to take shape.

  • honestly

    just get barbosa and if not leave the roster as it is. goudelock is a very good scorer, i’d love to see him get more experience and playing time

    • Mandingojman

       Goudelock is worthless on defense thats why he dont get know playing time and hes to small and damn I dont ever think I have ever seen him dunk??? Have u??? He can shoot thought thats his only upside!!!!

  • Lakerfreak

    Steve Blake is far better than Johnny Flynn. Blake could start for a number if teams and is the bestback up PG the Lakers have had in a decade. While Flynn will never amount to anything but an overhyped lottery pick.
    I dont understand why so many “Laker fans” are hating on solid players like Gasol, MWP, and Blake.

    • Lakers16rings

      I’m a laker fan but i don’t hate artest and gasol they gave us our 15th and 16th championships so I don’t want them to leave. In the other hand, I still think Darius Morris or darius johnson odom should be our backup pg over Blake but I’m not hating it’s just that we need a pg that attacks the rim and not just only shoot 3’s

      • Gapo94

        shows how much u know bout laker history. we didnt even had artest when we won the 15th ring, we had ariza. and go look at the tape where lakers had close games steve blake was knocking down 3’s from everywhere

    • lakersfan808

      i agree with you, people say blake was the problem, he was the only one on our bench that do something until hill showed up, he should be better than last year because last year he was our #1 option off the bench which is sad, this year, especially if we get another SG with jamison, blake should be good, DJO and morris are not the solution, they did kinda bad in a SUMMER League game, what makes you think that they will be better than blake.

  • gundersonrogers

    NATE ROBINSON for  energy off the bench.

  • Dwreck69

    what about pietrus or barbosa?

  • lakers insider

    For me good choices is going with Barnes first get him back and give him another year with Browns style of coach and K-Mart is never a bad idea.K-mart type is the type of player who will give it all and intimidate other opponents.Kobe,Nash,Pau,Ron and Andrew/Dwight is a good starting line up.Jamison,Blake,Barnes and K-mart off the bench is a good team.Then you have all the rookies and sophmores that are learning.You can’t beat a team with type of caliber.You get toughness off the bench in barnes and K Mart a decent point guard a shooter in Jamison and the starting five you say anything about it.Just Andrew or Dwight have to be willing to play 48 min or more of A+ basketball in the center on offense and more so on defense.

  • Dozdonuts

    what bout bryce cote


    It’s simple, the Lakers need a SG. They need someone who can spend quality minutes behind Kobe. This is nothing most Laker fans don’t know. A concerted effort needs to be done to get that SG, not go after another hopeful retread big man. Blake will adequately back up Nash, and Goudelouk (sp) has not shown he is a consistent shooter that would help spread the floor. Afterall, the bench seems to be the achilles heel of the Lakers now.

  • David

    If we can go get Jodie Meeks & Kenyon Martin, we’ll easily have the deepest 10 man team in the league.

    PG: Steve Nash/Steve Blake
    SG: Kobe Bryant/Jodie Meeks
    SF: Metta World Peace/Antawn Jamison
    PF: Pau Gasol/Kenyon Martin
    C: Andrew Bynum/Jordan Hill

    Plus, Devin Ebanks, Andrew Goudelock, Josh McRoberts, Darius Morris & Darius Johnson-Odom aren’t terrible either and could slide into any of those roles if needed.

    • Guerra

      jamison can’t play the 3 we don’t necessarily need another pf though kenyon is a good addition..we need a wing player..

  • Evan Bailey

    nate robinson

  • Lakeshow32

    Get Barbosa..the guy is a vet, facilitator, 3p shooter and can defend better than any other option the lakers have right now…How about Jodie meeks you ask? well if we want a guy that can only shoot 3s…then we might as well give that chance to goudlock.

  • Niko Daza

    Please clear up how Jodie Meeks “has more experience the anyone else that the Lakers’ roster currently boasts”? Meeks is an incoming 4th year player and is no veteran by most standards.

    For those saying Antawn Jamison should play the backup three spot – shake my head. You think Jamison is quick enough to guard athletic small forwards. Jamison has been most productive as a power forward, and at this point in his career is he going to be taken away from his comfort zone and asked to do more that what he can already do.

    Kenyon Martin? Completely in our reach if we wanted to, but we do not need him.

  • Jey Mgee

    T-Mac.Kmart..BOrbosa, Michael Pietrus……

  • Mandingojman

    Martin and Flynn or Rush and that’s a wrap!!!! we are ready to get the 6th ring for Kobe. Blake,Morris,Murphy, Goudelock all need to go their all inconsistent and not ready to win!!! 

  • Mandingojman

    Barbosa is nice cause we need more speed off the bench and a defensive point guard as well that can run shooting guard and run fast breaks!!!!!  I will be glad when training camp starts Gasol and Bynum need to run the floor and exercise more cause Nash is gonna need them to run and Be THE LAKE SHOW OF OLD if not better!!!!

  • PnG44l

    Good choice. Barbosa and Meeks

    • Mandingojman

       who is Jodie Meeks???? Never heard of him???

  • Georgegalvan69

    I say sign flynn for veteran mimimum and split the mini mid level with kenyon martin and leanadro barbosa

  • Dillo

    I like T.Mac

  • Ongsantiago

    Yes,use mmle to get barbosa.he’s worth it and another for vmc,redd,meeks, just for assurance when someone injured and we’e set for the ultimate goal,kobe’s 5th,lakers 17th,do it mitch,if we get dwight and one maybe we have to get just one..

  • Nathan

    Why don’t they shoot for Carlos Delfino? He’s the best defensive guard/forward on the market and would be the perfect backup for Metta and Kobe defensively if he can be snagged at the veterans minimum; along with a Jodie Meeks type scorer coming off the bench for the vet. min. we’d be extremely extremely deep. Run that roster through your head.

  • Lyle

    Nate Robinson
    JR Smith
    Jared Dudley

    These guys are cheap, but are very explosive off the bench. They always bring energy. Always. That’s the first thing a team needs. Energy. It just feeds off the rest of the teammates, very contagious.

  • harold wright

    t-mac answers all ????  Sign T-mac

  • Grant17

    I agree, get kmart and barbosa with M. Redd and Jermaine O’Neal

  • Grant17

    What do you guys think about this trade idea for LA. Ok, what if they were to do a 3 team trade with the NY Knicks and the Sixers. LA should send Gasol to NYK for Amare S. (what big man does a better pick and roll with Nash!), then the Knicks send JR Smith to Philly with draft picks, for Jody meeks, then finally LA sends Metta to the Sixers for Andre Iguodala. So Lakers pull off this monster trade on top of Bynum for Howard, then the Laker starting lineup would be like this;

    SF- A.Iguodala
    C- D. Howard

    2nd Unit

    PG- L. Barbosa /S.Blake
    SG- J. Richardson /M.Redd
    SF- A.Jamieson/ M Pietrus
    PF- K.Martin/J Hill
    C- J.O’Neal

    If the Lakers can pull this off, game over!!! 

    L.A. 3Peat!!!!

    • lakers insider

       No way you give up Gasol. Amare not even close to Gasols status.Besides Amare can’t be insured, so it’s not worth it.Pau Gasol stays with the lakers there is no good deal out there that can compensate for his skills.Nobody in there right mind would get rid of Gasol.

  • Juanito Godinez

    they WILL get dwight howard, trust me

  • Adrian54

    Get Barbosa, resign Barnes!!! Barbosa is a great backup for Kobe & Nash has good speed. Will contribute for fastbreak points which the Lakers were really lacking last season. Plus adding Barbosa would take some scoring load off of Jamison.

    PG: Nash/Blake
    SG: Bryant/Barbosa
    SF: MWP/Barnes
    PF: Gasol/Jamison
    C: Bynum or Howard/Hill 

  • sonnykobe24

    back D-Fish…Lake show needs him….