Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Laker Free Agents

The offseason will soon be upon us, so it's time to examine what the Lakers will be doing to upgrade a team that took the Suns to 7. Here's a quick summary of the returning depth chart:

PG - Smush Parker / Aaron McKie
SG - Kobe Bryant / Sasha Vujacic
SF - Luke Walton
PF - Lamar Odom / Brian Cook
C - Kwame Brown / Chris Mihm / Andrew Bynum

FA: Devean George, Ronnie Turiaf, Jim Jackson

Here's my feeling on those three:
  • Devean George - I've never been impressed with him. Devean's a player who'll make a big shot or two and help you win a game, but it's always due to being in the right place at the right time, never due to his talent. Looking at him, he should be able to at least body up bigger players, but has never been an effective post defender and has always been a step slow on elite perimeter wing players. I'd let him walk. Only reason to bring him back is because he knows the Triangle Offense, but Odom and Walton are better options a the 3 right now.

  • Ronnie Turiaf - Ronnie (or is it Ronny? I've seen it both ways) is already the best shot blocker on the Lakers. He hits the boards and is an effective scorer either through put-backs or an emerging post game. I loved watching him at Gonzaga and was so happy when the Lakers signed him after his heart surgery. I hope they re-sign the guy. I think he can be a legitimate PF in the league, especially as a rebounder/shot blocker. I think his potential could be a Udonis Haslem with more shot-blocking ability or a Bo Outlaw with a few more offensive weapons.

  • Jim Jackson - Boy did this guy hit the wall. After being a solid piece of the Suns puzzle in 2004-2005, Jackson was cut by Phoenix halfway through the season. The Lakers picked him up and he contributed very little. He knows the Triangle from working with Jim Cleamons in Dallas, but I think his place is signing for the veteran's minimum on an older team, perhaps Memphis or Detroit would be good destinations for him. (I tried to find a picture of Jackson in a Laker uniform, but to no avail)

Unfortunatley for the Lakers, they are over the salary cap, so they can re-sign Turiaf, but then can only improve by using the MLE and the draft. I'll expand upon the Lakers draft possibilities and potential free agent signings in future posts.


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