The Los Angeles Lakers coming up short in their quest for a second consecutive NBA title this year led to a lot of introspection. Clearly injuries played a role in what transpired, but they weren’t the sole issue.
Persistent chemistry problems followed the Lakers all season long, by the admission of the players themselves. For whatever reason, the 2020-21 roster composition simply didn’t work. There were too many players acting out, whining on social media and bashing the coach over their lack of success.
In order for that to change in 2021-22, the roster needs to change. The Lakers began moving in that direction by putting Kyle Kuzma on the trade block and exploring blockbuster deals with the San Antonio Spurs for DeMar DeRozan and Washington Wizards for Russell Westbrook.
That said, smaller moves would benefit the franchise greatly as well. The Lakers could use some toughness -- an enforcer, of sorts. And one player who could fill that role perfectly is soon-to-be free agent P.J. Tucker.
Tucker sought roughly $12 million when negotiating with the Houston Rockets some time back, and following his impressive NBA playoff run with the Milwaukee Bucks, it’s unlikely he will want any less than that now.
Re-signing Tucker will push the Bucks significantly over the cap, so it remains to be seen if the front office will actually want to go that route.
If Tucker falls through – another suitor might await.
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Tucker-to-LA is a very viable option.
“Add the Lakers, Warriors, Nuggets and Jazz as teams that could vie for Tucker’s services too,” he wrote.
Although Tucker doesn’t bring a ton offensively, he is a defensive stalwart who could be a huge add for a group that is arguably the NBA’s best defensive unit when fully healthy.
Will the Lakers ultimately sign Tucker? It remains to be seen. Should they? If the math works, absolutely.