The Los Angeles Lakers are looking to make changes this summer, but do those changes include adding Rashard Lewis and trading for a first round draft pick?
Heading into this offseason, Mitch Kupchak and Co. weren’t all that ambiguous about Los Angeles’ long-term and short-term plans. Long-term, the Lakers will be built around their talented -- albeit, injury-prone and immature -- young center, Andrew Bynum. Short-term, Lakers brass will do everything possible -- within reason and in keeping with the new CBA -- to provide Kobe Bryant with some additional support.
And so, because Kupchak had more or less pledged to improve and alter a core roster that’s flamed out in two consecutive postseason runs now, rumors began to fly regarding what precisely he would do. Pau Gasol was the generally agreed upon trade bait; however, who would L.A. use Gasol to bring in? Deron Williams? Andre Iguodala? Kevin Garnett? The speculation has been endless, but it’s always followed one general rule – the incoming player had to be impactful.
Any move that the Lakers make, it has to be for someone impactful.
Well, according to some murmurs from around the league, maybe the Lakers aren’t looking to make as legit of a move as we previously believed. Perhaps the squad would simply be content adding a veteran and finding a way to squeeze into the first round of next Thursday’s draft.
Per Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld:
The Hornets are expected to buyout Rashard Lewis. Lewis would become a free agent and look to sign with a contender, according to sources.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 20, 2012
And then Steven Kyler of HoopsWorld:
It is HIGHLY doubtful Rashard Lewis goes back to Orlando... watch the Lakers and Houston.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 20, 2012
And, finally, Sam Amico of Fox Sports:
Lakers "making real push" to get into 1st round of NBA Draft, says EC exec. Word is they like the Baylor guys: Perry Jones & Quincy Miller.— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) June 21, 2012
If the Lakers can find a way to get into the first round without giving up Gasol – more power to them. If, however, this plan to acquire a guy with all of the aggressiveness of Lamar Odom at his most lackadaisical in Jones comes at the cost of L.A.’s second best player, that would be the dumbest, most ridiculous move ever.
Look, we’ve been the loudest proponents around of how deep this draft is, and we’ve been beating that drum for a long, long time. Longer than anyone else, really. But no matter how talented a set of roleplayers you can acquire with these picks, there is no way that they’ll be prepared to make a championship run. No. Way. Rookies don’t play instrumental roles in title campaigns – that’s just not the way of the NBA world.
As far as Lewis goes: adding him on the cheap wouldn’t hurt. But, that said, it’s hard to imagine that the Lakers would use their limited available spending resources this summer on a non-point guard.