From my freelance column on hoopsworld.com.....
... If he gets his way, Webber will land with either the Pistons, Lakers, Heat, Spurs or Mavericks at the start of next week. He wants to win a title, which all these teams have the potential of doing. But if he wants to contribute to a championship contender, he may want to shorten his list.
The only team on that list that would seem like a sure fit for Webber is the Lakers, who run the triangle offense that can take advantage of Webber’s passing skills as well as his ability to occasionally score in the post or with the mid-range jumper. The Lakers also have enough question marks at the power forward position that Webber can come in and claim a regular rotation spot right away.
Even when Lamar Odom returns to his starting power forward position, which despite his fondness for the small forward spot remains his best position, there are plenty of opportunities to play behind Odom. Brian Cook and Ronny Turiaf are decent change-of-pace options that will still find some time but are hardly big-minute guys, and Vladimir Radmanovic can split time between both forward spots. Odom, too, can score some minutes at the small forward spot, and would be an intriguing frontcourt mate for Webber.
And given his playoff battles with Kobe Bryant while with the Kings, Webber knows well how Bryant operates and will certainly be willing to pass the ball to Los Angeles’ biggest superstar.
Though the drop-off is significant, the Pistons are the next best suited team for Webber. He can work from the top of the key or in the post and still make sense in Flip Saunders’ offense, which is mostly run for guards Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups. The problem for Webber here, however, is on the other end of the court. The Pistons still intend on beating people with their defense first, and given his lack of lateral mobility, Webber could be a liability on that end of the floor, especially with Ben Wallace no longer there to clean up any mistakes. Plus, he would likely have to spend some minutes playing out of position, with Rasheed Wallace, Antonio McDyess and Jason Maxiell claiming dibs on the power forward spot.
Then there’s the intrigue of Miami, which initially wouldn’t seem like a great idea. But if Heat coach and president Pat Riley is willing to deal with the repercussions of sitting Antoine Walker for good, there would be an opening at the backup power forward spot. Webber can hit the mid-range shot as well as Udonis Haslem, if not better, which means he can be the kick-out option for either Dwyane Wade or Shaquille O’Neal. And with the Heat now playing Jason Kapono heavy minutes, we’ve all seen Webber is fond of finding his quick-release shooters like Peja Stojakovic and Kyle Korver.
The question would be whether having Webber and O’Neal on the floor at any given time would be good for a team that attempts to pride itself on defense. And, of course, how Walker would react if Webber were to take his minutes. An acquisition of Webber would seem to be a signal of another move to come....