Though the Lakers roster for training camp is not 100 percent set, it’s clear that there will be some holes to fill on the squad, even when the team is set to tip off the season.From my perspective, the Lakers could do well to acquire a few players with NBA experience to the mix early on. Of course, every team has players they would like to add to the roster, and the Lakers will not be alone in trying to fill some roles during the season.
However, with it being the doldrums of the summer, there is no better time to sit back and pick out a few players that would look good in forum blue and gold at some point this season.
Now, as with most of the speculative posts you will see in the coming months and beyond, this does not mean there are reports that Lakers have had talks about acquiring any of these guys. With that said, to make this list the player must meet a simple criteria: they must both fill a need, and be attainable given the Lakers trade assets (hint: there’s not many of them).
Below are three guys I would love to see the Lakers take a look at making a run at on the trade market to improve the team for the upcoming season.
Jeff Green, F, Boston Celtics
Jeff Green is a player that I really like, even if I think he is slightly overpaid. As a small forward on the Lakers he would be excellent as a third or fourth scoring option that can work as either a small forward or a stretch 4.
His efficiency numbers are lacking, and if he did not improve them, the volume would definitely not be there for him to make much of an offensive impact on a Kobe-led Lakers squad, but the potential would be there for him to be a key offensive cog in Byron Scott‘s machine.
At his hefty price tag of more than $9 million, with a player option for next season that he is likely to exercise, Green’s contract could be a tough pill to swallow. If the Celtics continue to revamp their roster, and dump Green for flexibility and assets, the Lakers could certainly step up to the plate with an offer of Steve Nash and the Houston Rockets’ first-round pick, all while maintaining the plan to be free agent buyers in 2016.
Timofey Mozgov, C, Denver Nuggets
Mozgov began to come alive at the end of last season, and I admittedly was impressed with the big guy.
It’s unclear to me how the Nuggets view him as part of their long-term plan, but as a team that did not perform as expected last season, they could look to make some moves if they start off the next campaign in similar fashion.
Mozgov is now 28, and his potential ceiling is starting to fall a bit. For the Lakers’ purposes though, he may just be perfect.
The players that they have on the roster in Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, and Robert Sacre are not classified as elite-level rim protectors. While I am not sure Mozgov is either, I like what he brings to a team in that department.
He averaged 1.2 blocks in 21.6 minutes per game last season, and I think he could be attained for the right price.
It’s possible that it could take a combination of one of the Lakers younger players and a draft pick to grab Mozgov, but if he can clean up some mistakes for what looks like could be a defensively challenged team, he may be well worth the gamble.
Derrick Williams, F, Sacramento Kings
Maybe I am just a sucker for players that exude athleticism or maybe it’s all this Michael Beasley talk that is getting me a little crazy, but I think the Lakers should check the price tag on Derrick Williams.
He may be available for cheap, considering the Kings acquired him and still gave him very little opportunity. I am sure there is a reason for that, just as there is a reason the Minnesota Timberwolves refused to let Williams get significant run, but in this case I think the Lakers could give their division rival a call and take this player off their hands.
Putting Williams on this Lakers team would inject even more athleticism, something that has been lacking in the past few seasons. If given an opportunity, it’s possible Williams finally finds his role in the league, and is able to somewhat redeem himself like Xavier Henry and Wesley Johnson from last year’s edition of the team.
The best part is Williams likely comes at little cost. I think he would be well worth an asset such as Houston’s first-round pick in a package with an expiring contract.
In this case, his potential reward is worth a draft choice that is likely to fall somewhere in the bottom-third of the first round.
If the Lakers hit on any of these players, while giving up a B-level asset like that, it could help change the fortunes of this team going forward.