On Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers were awarded Carlos Boozer off waivers after he was Amnestied by the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. The winning bid on Boozer was for 3.25 million, this was the latest move in their underwhelming free agent offseason of 2014.
Not that Boozer wasn’t a decent pickup for a cheap price, but the team struck out on their attempts to try and get Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. Not to mention Lance Stephenson would have been a nice consolation prize, but he signed with Charlotte.
The Lakers traded the rights to Sergei Lishchuk to the Houston Rockets for the expiring contract of Jeremy Lin, a first and second round pick in a salary dump.
Lin took the NBA by storm in 2011-2012 with the New York Knicks when he came out of nowhere to average 22.5 points and 8.7 assists in 12 starts before the All Star break when Melo was hurt. Most importantly, New York had a 9–3 record during that stretch. For the season, he averaged 14.6 and 6.2apg, mainly due to him seeing garbage time minutes before the injury to Melo.
Ed Davis was added to the roster on a 2 year deal worth 2 million. Davis struggled to find playing time last season with the Memphis Grizzlies, averaging just 15.2 minutes per contest in 63 games (he averaged just 5.7ppg and 4.1rpg). His best season was in 2012-2013 with the Toronto Raptors when he averaged 7.7ppg, 5.7rpg, and 1bpg in 81 games (20mpg). If Boozer and Jordan Hill start at power forward and center, Julius Randle and Davis will come off the bench to backup PF and C, respectively.
They re-signed Hill to a 2 year deal worth 18 million, the 2nd year is a team option but he was over-paid for his production last season (9.7 points per season, 7.4 rebounds per game and 1 block per game). However, he averaged 16.6ppg and 10.1rpg in his last 8 games of the season so maybe that was a sign of things to come.
In a bit of a head scratcher, they also re-signed Nick Young to a 4 year deal worth 23 million. Young had one of his best seasons as a pro (18ppg) but they traded for a second round pick with the Washington Wizards and drafted Jordan Clarkson, an athletic guard who can play both backcourt positions.
The team still lacks some options at small forward (Young and Kobe Bryant are only players able to play the position and neither can play it full time) and general manager Mitch Kupchak needs to get busy to sign a few more players. Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry are cheap options that could be signed, but he needs to get busy before they sign with other teams.
He also needs to make a decision on wether or not they want to utilize the stretch provision on point guard Steve Nash, that move would save them another 6 million on the salary cap.
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