By Craig Kwasniewski
We all knew LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan were long shots. All three are desired free agents looking to play for a contender moving forward. The Lakers are still 2 years (at best) from contending and merely selling “LAKERS-CAP SPACE-HOLLYWOOD” simply wasn’t enough.
The problem is that the Lakers are in a holding pattern, waiting on their final word (which should be obvious) and missing out on decent mid-level free agents. And THIS is what is really disconcerting.
With the cap rising by at least 30 percent, now is the time to fill roster needs with their cap space. If that means slightly overpaying, then so be it. Again, the cap is going up, so what is now a steep price to pay will be market or even below market value beyond 2016.
Simply clearing max space and having draft picks with 1 to 2 years of experience won’t be enough to compete for the free agents in the summer of 2016. If this summer should tell us anything is that players want to join teams with a clear cut direction and in playoff contention. They’re not in joining in on “the process.”
And THIS is what is really disconcerting. The Lakers have made Z-E-R-O offers to mid-tier guys. Is this a team coming off the worst season in franchise history and with free agents repeatedly referring to the Lakers lack of “on court” competency. The clock is ticking and the Lakers apparently are working with a sundial.
Simply re-sigbing the garbage from last season isn’t enough. The Lakers need to fill holes, the Lakers need to put out the money, the Lakers need to show potential free agents… the BIG FISH… that there’s a direction, a clue, a future. If not, this will continue to be a VERY LONG process.
One last thing, a lot of people wrote off the Monroe thing as "whatever, he can't play defense." True. FWIW - (empty roster space) also stinks on defense.