At 30 years of age and with multiple knee surgeries on his record, veteran guard Gilbert Arenas may have little left in the tank. Even so, signing the former All-Star would be a logical, no-risk move for the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Arenas is planning a workout in Los Angeles this week, and while the Lakers haven't announced their plans one way or another, a representative such as general manager Mitch Kupchak is likely to attend.
There is no question that Arenas is now a shell of his former self. He's never going to average well over 20 and close to 30 points per game like he did as a member of the Washington Wizards. He simply lacks the explosion that he once had.
The fact of the matter is, however, that Arenas has a track record of success and the Lakers are in desperate need of a guard who can handle the ball. Derek Fisher is a great glue guy, but he simply shouldn't be a starting point guard in the league anymore.
Arenas obviously isn't your traditional point guard, but he is much more likely of making things happen with the ball in his hands.
Also, the Lakers are pretty much devoid of shooters. Kobe Bryant is still one of the best in the game in that regard, but aside from him, Steve Blake and Jason Kapono are the only other pure shooters. Blake has been nagged by injury problems all season long, while Kapono never plays.
If nothing else, Arenas could provide the Lakers with a spark off the bench. He wasn't productive during the second half of last season with the Orlando Magic as he averaged just eight points per game, but he showed flashes earlier in the year with the Wizards, averaging 17 points and two three-pointers per game.
There aren't many good ball distributors readily available, and Arenas would never be confused with Steve Nash, but he has had some success as a passer in his career, averaging over six assists per game in a season on five occasions.
Should the Lakers sign Gilbert Arenas?
With that said, Bryant is still going to handle the ball for the most part, and he can be the distributor, but Arenas can take some pressure off of him. Unless Kobe is shooting, then his only real option right now is to throw it into the paint to Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum.
Arenas would give him a competent shooter to play with that he can trust to make open looks. Los Angeles clearly needs some sort of spark right now and Arenas could provide that at little cost. Even if he shows that he has nothing left, the Lakers can get rid of him or bury him on the bench at little cost.
It's hard to think of a reason why the Lakers shouldn't roll the dice with Agent Zero. Some may point to character concerns, but with veterans like Bryant and Fisher in the locker room, that shouldn't be a problem.
The Lakers owe it to themselves to see if Arenas can make a difference.