2011 NBA Free Agents: Mike Bibby and Realistic Targets for Los Angeles Lakers

Listen, Lakers fans, I'd love to see Dwight Howard and Chris Paul join Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol in Los Angeles as much as the next guy, but that isn't about to happen overnight, especially with the NBA trade market being as uncertain as it is amidst this brand new collective bargaining agreement.

As disappointing as the Purple and Gold were last season, they still have more than enough talent on their roster—between Kobe, Pau, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest  Metta World Peace—to compete for at least one more Larry O'Brien Trophy.

The key, aside from how new head coach Mike Brown fills Phil Jackson's Hall of Fame shoes, will be what general manager Mitch Kupchak does to fill out the fringes of his roster via free agency with but a $3 million midlevel exception with which to work..

If he's serious about chasing another championship with the core that he has on hand, he'd do well to reach out to these veterans in search of new homes.


Mike Bibby

A move to LA would be a fitting turn in Mike Bibby's long and winding career. Bibby was a veritable villain in the City of Angels during his days as the lead guard for the Sacramento Kings, with whom the Lakers enjoyed a fierce rivalry in the early 2000s.

Bibby is hardly the 15-point, five-assist, three-rebound player that he once was, though he's still more than capable of serving as a quality backup behind Derek Fisher.

More importantly, Bibby is still a legitimate threat from the three-point arc—something the Lakers have lacked for years now. In fact, Bibby is coming off the finest sharp-shooting season of his career, wherein he hit better than 44 percent of his long-range attempts for the Atlanta Hawks and the Miami Heat.

If the front office decides to use the amnesty clause to excise Steve Blake's contract from the cap, look for Kupchak to chase after Bibby as his replacement...

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