A few more players for L.A.?

By Jason Wojciechowski on July 8, 2008 at 11:53 PM

Turns out I've left off a few players the Lakers have been connected to and how they might fit into the roster:

Brent Barry has been named, and he wouldn't be a terrible replacement for Sasha Vujacic, though he doesn't really play defense. Greg Popovich did run with him as his point guard for a time during the Lakers series, though, so he can handle the ball better than a lot of guys that have been named as potential replacements if Vujacic doesn't resign. (And this is somewhat important, since Sasha brings the ball up the floor with some frequency when he's on the floor.)

Kurt Thomas's name has also been bandied about as a guy to bring in if Ronny Turiaf can't be brought back. I wouldn't really object to this so long as the money and/or years aren't large. Thomas is basically the same player as Turiaf, but a little smaller and with a little better outside shooting (15 feet) touch (though Turiaf has improved on this since he's come into the league).

Mickael Pietrus is apparently also on the table, but I'm not sure the purpose of that. He's an exciting slasher and finisher, but I'm not sure that offensively he adds much over Trevor Ariza, combined with the fact that he doesn't know the triangle yet, while Ariza at least has half a year of playing and watching to figure things out.

Finally, Sun Yue's name keeps popping up. He's a 6'9" guy who plays the point in China, which makes Lakers fans all fuzzy for Magic Johnson. I've mentioned my skepticism in a previous post, and I'll reiterate it here. Do we really want to bring over a promising young guy like Yue to sit on the bench as the 11th or 12th man on this team? I seriously doubt he'd play right away, especially since his outside shooting game is apparently pretty shaky, and the triangle isn't really a point guard system, which is reportedly his great strength: court vision, passing. He's also potentially not even the best point guard in China, which doesn't bode well for his ability to come here and thrive. He did average 13.5 points and 10.5 assists in the ABA in 2006-07 (his Chinese team was involved in a controversy that resulted in the team moving to the U.S. and playing in the ABA instead of the Chinese league; this actually probably benefits Sun because he's able to play against (slightly?) tougher competition).

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