If you thought the Los Angeles Lakers would relax after their acquisition of Steve Nash, you thought wrong. In fact, if it’s possible, it appears as though Mitch Kupchak is actually working even harder to improve the squad now.
At the moment, L.A. has two huge items on its summer agenda: maybe trade for Dwight Howard and definitely add some depth.
Lakers management has made it no secret that they’re currently in the Dwight Howard Sweepstakes, though there are conflicting reports regarding just how enthusiastic they are about it. Jim Buss’ love for Andrew Bynum is a matter of public record, and it’s a bit unclear whether his heart is really in this whole process.
By all accounts, while L.A. has been an active participant in talks pertaining to a trade for Howard, the team isn’t prepared to take on ridiculous amounts of bad salaries just to make it happen. That's not exactly the attitude that Orlando Magic brass is looking for. The Lakers seem to be riding with the we WANT Dwight, but we don’t NEED Dwight philosophy.
On Wednesday afternoon, Orlando management came out and said that they would table trade talks for Howard while they surveyed the land for a new coach. Whether that means that they’ll actually put off trading their disgruntled big man until later this summer (or maybe even early next season) remains to be see, but that’s the message they tried to peddle yesterday.
It’s worth noting that, seeing as the Brooklyn Nets gave Brook Lopez a max offer sheet on Wednesday, they’re officially out of the Dwight Howard Sweepstakes until next January. That means L.A.’s chances of getting him are probably as good now as they’ll ever be – but obviously that’s not saying much.
The other interesting thing Lakers management is currently working on is adding some depth to a very, very sorry bench. Re-signing Devin Ebanks on Tuesday was a great first step, but everyone involved seems to realize that fresh blood is needed, too.
According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, in an effort to address the depth situation, Kupchak and Co. are currently in the process of trying to bring in veteran forward Antawn Jamison. Per the report:
Meanwhile, the Lakers were trying to hook free-agent forward Antawn Jamison, who would immediately help boost scoring among their punchless reserves… Jamison, 36, averaged 17.2 points and 6.3 rebounds last season with Cleveland, though he shot a career-low 40.3%. He has received a handful of more lucrative offers from teams, but none have the playoff potential of the Lakers.
L.A. is apparently trying to lure Jamison in with their veteran’s minimum – something that’s substantially less impressive than what Jamison’s other suitors bring to the table. None of those teams are contenders like the Lakers, though.
Whereas it doesn’t look as though the Howard situation is going to get resolved at any point in the near future, Jamison is expected to make his decision fairly soon.
(Kudos Los Angeles Times)