After ending last season with one of the league’s least productive benches, which was ranked in the NBA 28th in scoring and 26th in efficiencyin, the Lakers this offseason made several free agent acquisitions in hopes.
Los Angeles this offseason has signed several new faces such as Chris Kaman, Wesley Johnson, Xavier Henry, Shawne Williams, and brought back familiar ones in Jordan Farmar and Robert Sacre. With that said, here are three players that will lead the Lakers off the bench.
He will likely share backup time with Steve Blake but unlike him, the 28-year-old provides the Lakers second unit quickness, a decent ball handler and shooter. He is a huge upgrade over likes of Chris Duhon, Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock.
Farmar, who is now in his second go-around with the Lakers, is a veteran in the league who has experience overseas playing for the Turkish team Anadolu Efes as one of the team’s best players. Playing in the role as one of being a player that is heavily relied upon has given him the experience needed to become one of the leaders of the bench squad.
What also helps him is that his style of play fits nicely into head coach Mike D’Antoni’s fast-paced offense. Farmar will be able to use his decent speed and ability to drive the lane which help him find shooters along the perimeter and mid-range areas as well as allow him to knock down a few shoots from the outside.
What this all equates to is a potential great year for Farmar as a bench leader and major contributor.
The 10-year veteran has experience as a player off the bench as he filled that role for the Dallas Mavericks last year averaging 10.5 points and 5.6 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game. Playing in the position as one of the Lakers’ primary bench contributors is one that he will relish in. Kaman has the skill set in the low post and mid-range game to help elevate the bench production to one that the team can rely on for offense.
What also helps make Kaman a productive player of the bench is his mindset coming to Los Angeles, which is evident by his introductory press conference where he stated that he would “I’m here to do a job and, whatever it is, I’ll do it.” This coupled with his offensive ability will make for a productive player and leader of the Lakers’ second unit.
The selection of Johnson as major impact player off the bench is one mostly based on the potential that he has as a player. He is versatile with his ability play both the shooting guard and small forward position because of his athleticism, length and quickness. He is also a decent shooter who throughout his collegiate and NBA career has been known for his good mid-range game and since coming into the league has improved on his three-point shooting.
Johnson will have the chance to play a role similar that is similar to former Laker Shannon Brown, who used his athletic ability and streaky shooting as a spark plug off the bench and also like Farmar, the 26-year old can flourish in D’Antoni’s offense that calls for outside shooting, which is something Johnson strives at.
What he ultimately provides Los Angeles is a player who has a lot of potential to make an impact on both ends of the floor.
Photo Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times