The Lakers made the biggest splash of the 2012 NBA offseason when they acquired Steve Nash on Wednesday. Los Angeles sent four draft picks to Phoenix in exchange for one of the best point guards in the league.
L.A. vastly improved its chances of getting back to the NBA Finals with the move. Nash is the team's best point guard since Magic Johnson retired, and they now have four starters that are capable of making the All-Star team.
Even after making a big trade, the Lakers still have room to make more moves. They can offer their mid-level exception to a free agent who is willing to take less money, in order to compete for a championship. The Lakers shouldn't have trouble convincing players who have never won a ring to come to L.A.
Grant Hill seems like the most likely candidate to take a pay cut and make the Staples Center his home.
Even at 39 years old, Hill was still extremely effective a season ago. He averaged 10.2 points and 3.5 rebounds per game for the Suns, while playing above average defense. L.A. has a potential star at every position except small forward. Hill not only helps the Lakers, but he fills there biggest need.
Former Celtic Mickael Pietrus could also be on the Lakers radar. Kobe Bryant reportedly wanted Los Angeles to acquire the small forward last summer.
The Lakers can still bring in a talented free agent and make a big trade.
Los Angeles is in a perfect position to take on big contracts to acquire another superstar. Dwight Howard is the biggest name available, and the Lakers are one of the few teams that can entice the Magic to move the All-Star. L.A. can send Andrew Bynum to Orlando in exchange for the center, which is much more than teams like Brooklyn and Houston are offering.
Perhaps more importantly, the Lakers can help rid the Magic of some bad contracts. Orlando wants to move both Hedo Turkoglu and Jason Richardson. Turkoglu is set to make $24 million over the next two years, while Richardson's deal is worth close to $19 million over the next three seasons.
Since the Lakers won't be under the salary cap threshold anytime soon, it shouldn't be a problem for them to take on either one of those contracts.
They have yet to use their amnesty clause, which would allow them to rid themselves of any contract currently on their roster. The Lakers could choose to amnesty Metta World Peace or Steve Blake. Both players have two years left on their contracts.
The Heat are still favorites to repeat as champions next season, but the Lakers aren't far behind. One or two more moves could give Los Angeles a good chance to dethrone Miami.
Adding the best center in the game and another role player would give the Lakers their best team in a number of years. If L.A. decides to stand pat, however, they could miss out on an opportunity to become Miami's biggest competition.