Alright this is the off-season where realistically we'll have to look at a "no home runs" scenario.
So let's rank free agent priority and then the realistic probability of signing them and then the predicted lineup.
Dwight Howard: Enough said. This team becomes a lottery team wasting Kobe's final year coming back from an Achilles injury if this guy walks. Re-sign him at ALL costs.
Earl Clark: While fizzling out at the end of the season, while dealing with a dead knee, this kid is talent. He is talent and he is a swiss army knife of talent and is an undeveloped full package. While not being used to playing so many minutes over the course of his career it is not out of the question that he would slow down near the end of the season.
Regardless of that, Earl Clark has made it very clear that he WANTS to return to the Lakers, and intends on putting in an entire off-season of work dedicated to becoming stronger, losing weight and improving his stamina.
You don't let talent like that walk for such a cheap price after they dedicate an off-season into becoming the best they can be.
Earl Clark is potentially on the verge of a breakout year in his career. You don't let that walk if he's willing to sign for less money and even a diminished role. This guy wants to be a Laker. Grant his wish. You either sign him, or you lose him. That simple.
Andrew Goudelock: Due to hard work, and determination and learning how to actually be a combo guard in the D-league he became the MVP in that league. But not only that he also came into his first playoff start and put up a marvelous performance before leg cramps for the best of him.
The kid is talented, and above all else he's a scorer and he plays every game like it's his last.
His weaknesses can be his size for his defense, though he is good at playing the passing lanes, he also has a few avenues to work on as far as his handles go, but he will put points on the board if you give him minutes in any avenue and he is a vastly improved player than he was when he left here.
Again, he can be had for cheap, and with it being unknown WHEN Kobe Bryant is returing you need a guy that can start over Meeks or come off the bench for Meeks. That guy is Goudelock. He is also a guy that is on the verge of a breakout season and can be had for very cheap. As with Clark, sign him or lose him. That simple. And though his counterpart Darius Morris probably also remains with the team for one more spell, Goudelock is someone you make the priority because Morris is pretty much a known, Goudelock is the guy another team would desperately try to scoop up before you do.
Alright, so now we're at the point where you re-signed people that are in your "house" so to speak.
Now we have to go on free agent priority outside of the house and realistic probability of signing them.
Martell Webster: What more needs to be said? The Lakers could have already had Martell Webster for the 2012-2013 season after the Timberwolves waived him, But they had such faith in Devin Ebanks that they passed him up and the Wizards got him.
Martell Webster had his breakout year, and someone as talented as him was bound for one.
Martell Webster is not only the 5th best three point shooter in the league he is also top 5 in true shooting efficiency outside of big men and that is astounding. Not only that but he puts forth effort defensively, can attack and score off the dribble and has a moderate post game. Not only that but he is a locker room guy. People that have been teammates with him love his personality, and they love his playful nature to make everyone even the most stern veteran smile.
Realistic Probability to sign: Low to Medium
All the things I've stated about Martell Webster aren't just noticed by me, it's noticed by the rest of the league as well, most importantly it's noticed by the Wizards.
The Wizards will be doing everything in their power to retain him and most likely near every team in the league is gonna come for this guy trying to sign him or overpay him to a contract.
Martell Webster is a "west coast" guy as he's stated many times, being from Seattle, so the lure of a team in the west like the Lakers is something that could entice him, though he'd be turning down the potential 6-8 million dollar contracts he'll be offered for a one year mMLE.
I think his mMLE year was the 2012-2013 off-season, now that he's proven his worth finally I don't expect him to settle.
No doubt the Lakers will make their pitch to him, but ultimately he is more likely to take the best offer for him and his career. Again, I never count the Lakers out from signing an unrestricted free agent if they go for him. But when it comes to Webster he's earned his right to not take another pay-cut just to prove his talent, and I think that ship has sailed. Hopefully I'm wrong, but I'm probably not.
Tony Allen has proven himself as the best wing defender in the league this season, or at the very least one of them, up there with the likes of the under appreciated defensively Paul George.
Tony Allen while not offering much in the way of creating his own shot or being consistent offensively makes up for it by his hard nose grind it out defense that frustrates players, and his defense in wearing down Kevin Durant in the OKC series says a lot about the value of this guy in the playoffs. It wasn't just one game that Durant had an off night, it was several, and by the final game his threes were falling short and his legs were gone. Tony Allen did a lot of that to him. This is the guy you go after to relieve the Lakers defensive woes on the wing while also making life easier for Kobe in terms of defending, and shall he be here, Metta World Peace as well.
Realistic Probability to sign: Low to Medium
Once again, as I said about Martell Webster. Every team in the league knows this about Tony Allen now.
The bright side is that he's 31 about to go on 32, this is around the age that most people expect wing defenders to slow down even a little bit. This will likely stop a team from overpaying him overt a 3 or 4 year contract. At the same time, the Grizzlies are going to do everything in their power to not let him go, but as evidence has shown they aren't willing to overpay because of the new CBA, they got rid of Rudy Gay for that very reason. So overpaying Tony Allen to stay probably isn't going to happen.
They are likely to offer him something like a 5 million dollar MLE to stay with the team which is just over the 3.3 million he makes now and should the Grizzlies get to the finals, or better yet win the NBA Championship, there is no way he is going anywhere else to finish his career.
Our only chance of landing the guy is if he asks for more than the Grizzlies are willing to give. But at the same time if he asks the Grizzlies for more than they are willing to give, we can't even offer as much as the Grizzlies could, so it's hard to see him over asking the Grizzlies and then settling for a mMLE from us. It's possible, but not probable. Once again I hope I'm wrong, but once again I'm probably not.
Ronnie Brewer Jr: Skilled Wing defender, extremely athletic, good at playing the passing lanes and going against wing defenders. Would be a great weapon to use against the likes of Carmelo, LeBron and Durant. He may not be able to fully stop them, but having him and Dwight Howard on the same team in combination could. Ronnie is also on average among the league leaders in steal to foul ratio. This means he knows how to defend without needlessly fouling. Especially a good thing.
He is not offensively gifted, much like Tony Allen around the perimeter. But his talent lays at getting to the basket and finishing at the rim. He is one of the very best in the league at this.
His ability to get to the basket and finish at the rim is astounding and he does it at an alarmingly high efficiency rate. He for not being able to shoot around the perimeter has averaged a 49% field goal percentage throughout his entire career because of how high his field goal percentage was when he was with teams that knew how to use his talents.
Especially when he was around point guards that used his ability to cut to the basket to their advantage.
Steve Blake and Steve Nash are both perfect point guards to give him this.
With Deron Williams as his point guard
His shooting percentages from the field were 52%, 55%, 50% and 49%
With Derrick Rose as his point guard his percentage was 48%.
But in the injury plagued season that sparingly saw Derrick Rose on the floor his percentage dropped to 42%, it was high when Rose played, it was low when he didn't.
Simply put, if you're getting Ronnie Brewer, you have to know his strengths and be able to play to them.
His strengths are getting to the basket and finishing at the rim whether it be a contact layup or throwing it down on someone. Steve Blake whom helped Jamison change his role from a spot up shooter to a dangerous cutter with his ability to find him on cuts to the basket will benefit Brewer the same way and he would be a very valuable asset, not only defensively, but taking advantage of lane openings while other teams are so focused on Dwight.
Realistic Probability to sign: High
Some teams it seems just don't know what to do with Ronnie Brewer Jr. Some teams take his ability to not be a perimeter scorer and sit him on the bench or give him garbage minutes. He was also one of the most skilled perimeter defenders the Thunder had after receiving him from New York, but he rode the bench for the rest of the season and into the playoffs when they really could have used his defense and hard nose style against a team like the Grizzlies.
It's likely the Thunder don't bring him back and the Lakers already have their eyes on him, and already made an attempt to sign him when he was in Utah before Utah gave him the bigger deal.
This is the guy actively on the Lakers radar and with Metta's diminishing defensive game as you can't stay young forever, they are looking for a perimeter defender and an at the basket finisher as well as adding some athleticism and youth to the roster.
Ronnie Brewer is the perfect fit for our bench and will take a lot of defensive pressure off of Kobe Bryant which will help the team in a lot of ways even if it isn't with perimeter scoring. If the Lakers don't get him with everything already set up for them to, especially cheap(he can be had for the veterans minimum) it's a bad sign.
More to come here soon..
But what do you guys/gals think so far?
Edited by Majesty, May 28, 2013 - 08:53 PM.