The Los Angeles Lakers had a change of heart many times this offseason. They’ve shipped players in and out at will — most in. It feels like they’re willing to do just about anything to end their losing route, which my colleague explained to be one of their worst in a decade. But they’re also setting themselves up for a title run. There are a few veteran free agents that could help them do so, including Jermaine O’Neal and Andray Blatche.
Pau Gasol is out and in comes veterans Jeremy Lin, Ed Davis and Carlos Boozer. It’s certainly a changing of the guard. It probably won’t change much more than that.
It’s not likely the Lakers sign Blatche. O’Neal remains a possibility, according to Basketball Insiders‘ Jabari Davis:
If anything, I think the Lakers could use another legitimate rim-protector. Not sure Blatche fits that mold, so I don’t necessarily think he would be a guy they’d bring in. I know there has been mutual interest between the Lakers and O’Neal in the past. In fact, I think JO may have worked out for them prior to 2012-13 if memory serves me.
So there’s been interest and the Lakers are willing to do most anything to win. Kobe Bryant isn’t getting any younger. If only they could put rookie Julius Randle in a developmental time machine. O’Neal, 35, is clearly more on the Kobe’s side of the NBA tracks — not Randle’s. But he could be a solid backup center for Jordan Hill, who is presumably L.A.’s top big man.