It’s no secret that the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to make some big changes this summer. After the team flamed out against the Oklahoma City Thunder in particularly unspectacular fashion, Mitch Kupchak came out and made it clear that the sort of results we’ve seen over the last two years are simply not acceptable.
In L.A., it’s championship or bust – and over the past couple of seasons, unfortunately, the Lakers have opted for the latter option.
Because L.A. is in such a tough place right now cap-wise, there aren’t all that many ways for the team to improve itself via free agency. Sure, in theory, management could seek out a veteran searching for his first ring (read: Steve Nash) and offer him the mini mid-level exception; outside of the MLE, though, the options are slim.
So, with that in mind – how does this situation get fixed? Well, amazingly enough, the hated Boston Celtics may actually hold the key to L.A. being able to salvage Kobe Bryant’s glory years. We’ve already had talk of Kevin Garnett (via a sign-and-trade) or Ray Allen (using the aforementioned MLE) landing in Tinseltown at some point, but now a new rumor is making the rounds.
"If the Lakers are looking for a go-to scorer from the wing who can take some of the burden off Kobe Bryant, they can't do much better than bringing Pierce home to L.A. ... The attraction for the Celtics? A pick-and-roll partner for point guard Rajon Rondo and a rim protector, presuming Kevin Garnett will be riding off in the sunset."
So, essentially, L.A. would give up Gasol for an old, mildly injury-prone small forward who will need to find a way to be productive while Kobe chucks up more shots than anyone else in The Association.
How will two guys that basically play the exact same way (at a cost of one of the Lakers’ lone two offensively capable big men, no less) improve this roster?