WIth the NBA lockout mercifully over, we can now thankfully move back to that lovable, frequently aggravating, but always entertaining realm known as trade and free agent rumors, in which the Lakers, as the league's marquee team, are naturally connected to every player of interest in the league. In this case, we have our report from Mark Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, who gives us this tidbit:
Fisher and Steve Blake are holdovers but the Lakers want to add a point guard before the season starts, via free agency or the expected "amnesty" provision in the new labor deal that allows teams to waive a player without having to pay luxury taxes on his salary, or have his salary count toward the salary cap.
The Lakers are curious to see if veteran point guard Baron Davis gets cut by Cleveland. He has two years and $28.7 million left on his contract, though he can be signed for substantially less than that. The Lakers also want a shooter and are monitoring whether forward Rashard Lewis (two years, $43.8 million remaining) gets waived by Washington.
The Lakers' never-ending search for the elusive "point guard of the future" has naturally occupied the team ever since it became apparent that Derek Fisher was well, old, and after dealing with mind-numbing CBA nonsense for every day of lockout, Fisher is likely not going to change that perception. Mike Brown's move away from the triangle should benefit Steve Blake, who looked tentative and confused last year, but he's not going to provide a solution at that position either.
We covered several amnesty candidates and the Lakers' possible interest in them earlier this summer, and in short, if Davis and Lewis are available at an affordable rate, then they would be fairly solid pickups. Under the new CBA, the Lakers have access to a $3 million "mini" midlevel exception as a team above the tax, and amnesty players, still being paid for their last contract, are likely to take smaller deals, especially to go to the Lakers, in free agency. Baron benefits from the fact that the free agent market for point guards is utterly terrible, and even if you think he was dogging it the past few years, his numbers paint him as a far superior player than any of the other options available. The Lakers' interest in Lewis, however, brings forth some interesting implications beyond seeking some badly needed outside shooting, as he plays at the same position and is otherwise redundant in many ways with Lamar Odom, who was mentioned in several trade rumors before the onset of the lockout. However this turns out, we will keep you apprised of any future developments.
Follow this author on Twitter @brosales12.