The Greatest Free Agency Period Ever! kicks Wednesday at 9:01 PT, and while the Lakers aren't exactly deep (or even shallow) in the LeBronBoshWadeAmareBoozerJohnsonLeeand-so-on-apallooza, they aren't without needs. With only seven players under contract for next season- Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, Sasha Vujacic, Luke Walton- the Lakers need to fill at least six spots on the roster. It seems likely Derek Fisher will be re-signed, but after him? Nothing but questions. Shannon Brown will opt out of the final year of his contract and test the free agency waters. Jordan Farmar wasn't tendered a qualifying offer and practically handed out change-of-address cards at his exit interview, Adam Morrison and D.J. Mbenga are gone, and given the team's bottom-line focus, it seems unlikely Josh Powell will be brought back.
So armed with a mid-level exception and a heap of championship cache, the Lakers will scour the bargain bins, looking first for backcourt help and moving on from there. In this episode of the Lo'L PodKast, we take a look at what they might purchase. The rundown:
-1:30- We make our pitch to LeBron. Maybe he's over the pressure of hunting for a title, and would rather be part of a well-tolerated basketball audio program? The pay isn't as good, but the hours are flexible.
-4:00- It's a review of where the roster stands, and a look at how many spots there could be. Will second rounders Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter have a chance to stick on the roster? Can Vujacic be truly considered "backcourt depth," given how he and his expiring deal become next season's most movable contract?
-12:00- We take a look at Andy's list of realistically available guards and dissect the best choices. No surprise to those who have followed our Wednesday chat this year (click here for today's), we both like Steve Blake's skill set, but there are a few more intriguing names out there.
-19:00- Tracy McGrady... good idea or not? Andy's willing to explore the option. So am I, but with a caveat.
-21:00- It's back to the FA rolls as we explore the available bigs, where there are fewer intriguing options but the need for the Lakers isn't as strong.