Many thought the Los Angeles Lakers would sit back and watch during the 2014 offseason, instead biding their time and waiting for a 2015 free agency class that could feature Minnesota Timberwolves’ power Kevin Love, Memphis Grizzlies’ center Marc Gasol, Portland Trail Blazers’ power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and Charlotte Hornets’ big man Al Jefferson.
The Lakers are instead attempting to make a big move and have made a strong impression with both Miami Heat forward LeBron James and New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony.
Joel Brigham believes signing Detroit Pistons’ restricted free agent big man Greg Monroe and Indiana Pacers’ guard Lance Stephenson are both excellent options.
The Lakers need to set their sights higher, perhaps on pricing Detroit out of Greg Monroe, taking a shot at former Laker Trevor Ariza or gambling on Indiana’s Lance Stephenson. They don’t want to build a roster around Kobe these last two years that can’t even make the playoffs, let alone compete for a title. Getting Stephenson and/or Monroe, added to rookie Julius Randle and perhaps the other rumored additions mentioned above, is about the best L.A. can hope for if Carmelo and LeBron choose other teams, as expected.
Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season while shooting 49.1% from the field, 35.2% from beyond the arc and 71.1% from the charity stripe in the regular season. In the postseason, he put up 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He shot 45.5% from the field, 35.8% from downtown and 71.4% from the free throw line. Monroe put up 15.2 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 49.7% from the field and 65.7% from the free throw line last season.