If they were almost any other NBA team, the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2011-2012 season would have been considered a success. In a year where they had to get acclimated to new coach Mike Brown’s defense-oriented system without a true offseason, the team was still able to win 41 of 66 games and win their first round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets before succumbing to eventual Western Conference champion Oklahoma City.
However, this is the Lakers we’re talking about, and every year is NBA Finals or bust. In its loss to the Thunder, what was exposed most about Los Angeles was its need for quality depth. The team has three elite players in Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol but beyond that core the roster was low on production and athleticism.
The Western Conference has a slew of young, deep teams that are nipping at the heels of veteran teams like the Lakers for elite status. Though they will be a playoff contender as long as they have Bryant on the roster, in order for the team to truly be championship caliber again they simply must retool their bench.
With very little available cap space available and harsh luxury tax penalties kicking in soon, Los Angeles must be savvy in free agency in order to reload without breaking the bank.
Here are 10 players the Lakers could pickup this summer for cheap that could help them reclaim their past glory.