Lakers Rumors: Gilbert Arenas Is An Upgrade From Aging Derek Fisher

JohnCorrespondent IFebruary 14, 2012

PHOENIX - DECEMBER 19:  Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Washington Wizards hanldles the ball during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 19, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Wizards 121-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers' weakness is clearly in their backcourt.  Starter Derek Fisher is 37 and backup Steve Blake is 31.  So far this season, Fisher’s numbers are comparable to 2010-11, but he no longer has the ability to play the point for a team contending for an NBA championship. 

The Lakers reportedly held a private workout for free-agent point guard Gilbert Arenas on Sunday in L.A.

Before being traded to the Orlando Magic last year, Arenas was putting up decent numbers with the Wizards.  In 21 games in D.C., Arenas averaged 5.6 assists, 17.3 points in 34.6 minutes per game last year.  Those are all better than Fisher’s two assists, 5.1 points and 26.0 minutes this season. 

Arenas would probably come cheap.  Teams around the league have not shown much interest in the former All-Star and he is from L.A.  Signing him for the rest of the season is a low-risk, high-reward investment for the Lakers. 

There are also rumors suggesting that L.A. is interested in trading for All-Star point guards Steve Nash or Rajon Rondo. 

Nash would probably cost a high draft pick or two, and maybe some sort of combination of Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and Fisher.  A swap of Gasol and Rondo has also been speculated. 

Nash and Rondo would undoubtedly have a much larger impact than Arenas.  They also would cost much more.  Losing Fisher and World Peace would not hurt as much as losing Gasol would. 

Fisher is near the end of the road and the Lakers would still have the luxury of depth with Blake and rookie Darius Morris playing behind whoever their new point guard would be.  Matt Barnes has started more games than World Peace and averages about the same amount of minutes. 

Trading for Nash or Rondo may not happen though.  Nash has not requested a trade out of Phoenix, and the Rondo trade speculation came from Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak mentioning a, “25-year-old, All-Star, ball-handling guard.”

The Lakers opened a roster spot after cutting Derrick Caracter, further fueling the speculation that Arenas will be wearing purple and gold in the coming days.  But behind Gasol, and Andrew Bynum, the Lakers only have Josh McRoberts and Troy Murphy.  

Both have been solid players, but neither are at Gasol’s level.  Trading Gasol would leave a hole in the Lakers' frontcourt that already is not all that deep. 

The Lakers would have little to lose in signing Arenas.  They already cleared a roster spot and would not have to forfeit any draft picks or roster players.  Arenas can only help the team.  If he performed well in his tryout, he is worth taking a shot on.