Posted on: March 16, 2011 9:24 pm
Every fan has those few players that they would give their eyeteeth to pick up, and I don't mean the Kobe Bryants, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wades of the league. I'm talking about the James Poseys, Robert Horrys, Jamal Crawford and Jason Terrys. The role players that can make or break a championship team, the midseason pickups that push a contender over the edge. Here's the players that I think would most benefit the Los Angeles Lakers.
Brandon Bass: Bass is the prototype power forward. He's physical around the basket, an eager and very solid rebounder, and great man to man defender who is also capable of coming over for the help or weak side block. On the offensive end Bass has a great jumper, shoots over 80% from the free throw line, and he is also has a fantastic finishing touch around the rim. He would provide a solid 20+ minute backup for Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum who is an asset on the offensive and defensive end. He would also bring a hardnosed and hustling attitude that Phil Jackson would appreciate for sure. The only question is how difficult would it be for him to learn the intricate triangle offense and how it runs.
Gerald Wallace: Wallace is the only player in the NBA other than Ron Artest who is big and physical enough to handle and harass guys like Paul Pierce, Lebron James and Kevin Durant. He has made a name as one of the premier defenders in the league and unlike Artest, he is not a liability on offense. He can slash to the rim and hit the perimeter jumper if need be. Wallace is also an excellent rebounder and would pick up the slack when Andrew Bynum is on the bench. Once again however, the question would be how quickly and efficiently could he pick up the triangle offense.
J.J. Redick: Redick is one of the more underrated players in the league. Everyone knows him as a three point specialist but in the last two years he's really expanded his game. His team defense has improved dramatically, as well as his playmaking ability and drives to the hoop. Sitting on the Magic bench for a couple seasons has really increased his basketball IQ and understanding of the game. He has the ability to absorb the triangle offense and learn it quickly. The Lakers are not a big 3 point shooting team and Redick would provide a deep threat to stretch the floor for Kobe, Gasol and Bynum. A bonus is his playmaking and he would not only provide quality minutes off the bench to rest Kobe, but would be able to play point guard in the triangle if so needed.
D.J. Augustin: D.J. is an up and coming point guard who has been really overlooked because he plays in Charlotte. He has shown that he has scoring ability but is a great passer and has good court vision to go with it. Another player who can fill it up from downtown, he would also be Derek Fisher's heir apparent in L.A. He is a decent defender as well, strong enough to handle bigger guards but quick enough to not get burnt by the plethora of fast guards in the league. He would greatly benefit from being mentored by Fisher and being around a superstar of Bryant's intelligence and ability. If brought up right, he could be a very solid and productive point guard for future Laker teams.
As a footnote, no Laker fan wish list would be complete without these last two.
Please grant us L.A. fans another couple seasons with Phil Jackson, and let Andrew Bynum's knees become impervious to any future injuries.