The Lakers missed the playoffs by 24 games last season.
Since, they’ve added D’Angelo Russell, Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams and Brandon Bass.
Is that enough to make a difference?
Baxter Holmes of ESPN:
I suppose the Lakers can hope for better health from Kobe Bryant, but he turns 37 next month and hasn’t played effectively or remained healthy in two years. Banking on more from him is a mistake.
And I don’t think that’s enough, anyway.
Even a healthy Kobe can’t carry a team like he used to, and his supporting cast is lacking. Plus, the Western Conference is ridiculously strong.
Phil Jackson recently lamented he wasn’t getting compared to Kupchak. I suspect that will change.
The Lakers had a verbal agreement to acquire Roy Hibbert from the Pacers in the early days of free agency, but as we saw on Wednesday with DeAndre Jordan and the circus that played out between the Mavericks and the Clippers, deals like this are ultimately meaningless until the paperwork is signed.
L.A. and Indiana completed the deal on Thursday, and announced it via official release.
The Los Angeles Lakers have acquired center Roy Hibbert in a trade with the Indiana Pacers, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. In exchange the Pacers will receive a future second round pick.
“We’re happy to add a veteran big man to the roster,” said Kupchak. “Roy is a proven All-Star center that will help improve our front line. In addition he is a consummate professional and we look forward to having him on the team.”
Hibbert is in the final year of his contract, and for a Lakers team that missed out on guys like LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency, adding the former Pacers big man as a plan B while giving up basically nothing in return was a more than acceptable option.
The Lakers also formally announced the signings of Lou Williams and Brandon Bass, along with Anthony Brown, who was the 34th overall pick in this summer’s NBA Draft.
The moratorium is over.
The NBA’s practice of allowing more than a week of negotiations between players and teams before anyone can actually put pen to paper to sign a deal has never gotten more scrutiny, thanks to DeAndre Jordan and his house guests. There could be changes in the future.
But the system wasn’t changing this year, and that moratorium ended when the calendar flipped from July 8 to 9 (Eastern time). Here is a list of who we know signed with teams immediately after midnight. There may be more, and the majority of players will sign later in the day (and have press conferences where they will talk to the media), but here is the list as we have it now (in no particular order):
• Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans)
• Omer Asik (New Orleans Pelicans)
• Alexis Ajinca (New Orleans Pelicans)
• Dante Cunningham (New Orleans Pelicans)
• Brandon Bass (Los Angeles Lakers)
• Al-Farouq Aminu (Portland Trail Blazers)
• Ed Davis (Portland Trail Blazers)
• DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers)
• Luis Scola (Toronto Raptors)
• Brandan Wright (Memphis Grizzlies)
David Lee played an important role for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, but he was not part of their long-term plans and spent much of the season on the bench. After they had hoisted the trophy, Warriors management appreciated Lee’s taking of a lesser role, and agreed with Lee that they would try to find him a new home for next season .
The Celtics and Warriors agreed to a deal that sends Lee east and brings Gerald Wallace West. Tommy Dee was first to report this, and it has since been confirmed by CSNBayArea.com’s Monte Poole.
Boston needs to send another player west to make the money work; that player has not been finalized but he will not be on a guaranteed deal.
For Boston, this is a good fit. They can play David Lee this year sort of in the Brandon Bass role (Bass signed with the Lakers). Lee is better offensively, even at this point in career, but a step back on defense from Bass. Maybe a couple steps back. Still he can put up points and should mesh well with their young talent.
The Warriors can keep Wallace and save some money, or trade him, but look for Golden State to use the stretch provision to buy Wallace out of his deal. Former Nets executive Bobby Marks laid out why that would help Golden State against the luxury tax (which with Klay Thompson and Draymond Green’s deal was going to get expensive).
Lee took to Instagram to thank the Golden State fans.
The Lakers are not going in the tank again, not in what could well be Kobe Bryant’s final season.
They struck out on big-name free agents but are now settling in on a smart strategy (maybe one they should have done from the start) of getting quality players to build the kind of roster base that elite free agents look at and think they could win with. They drafted D’Angelo Russell to go with Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson, then they have gotten Lou Williams and Roy Hibbert.
The latest Laker addition recent Celtics big man Brandon Bass, reports Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.
The financial terms of Bass’ deal are not yet finalized. He could get the room exception or they may clear some cap space for him.
Bass is the definition of solid NBA big man. He averaged 10.6 points and almost five rebounds a game, shooting 50.5 percent He had a PER of 16.3. He will play hard for them.
For the Lakers to sign Williams and Hibbert is going to take clearing out some cap space, which could mean Nick Young will be on the move.
The Lakers have tested the trade market for Young for a while, and it’s a smart move now — with Kobe and Williams and Young, all the Lakers jumpers would be contested.