Los Angeles Lakers: Grading the Team's Options at Point Guard
The Lakers have several options like Gilbert Arenas and Ramon Sessions, but they've stayed pat for now and still have the aging Derek Fisher starting games.
Ultimately, the Lakers need to make a change. Fisher has been getting obliterated by point guards all over the league. He may be a solid bench option once a trade is done, but the Lakers absolutely need a new starter.
Here are several options the Lakers should look at (or are looking at reportedly) with a letter grade for each decision.
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And that's a good thing.
Everyone knows about Arenas' past. He's a head case and he hasn't shown that he can contribute on the court to mask his off-court problems.
Last season, Agent Zero averaged just 8 points and 3.2 assists in 49 games with the Orlando Magic. Besides, he's always been known as a scoring point guard. The Lakers need a facilitator who can ease the offense for Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and Kobe Bryant.
The biggest benefit in signing Arenas is that the team won't have to give up anyone up via trade. But if he struggles, signing him won't be worth it at all.
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If the Los Angeles Lakers want to pursue Steve Nash, there's going to be plenty of complications.
First of all, there is no doubt about it that Nash will immediately solve the Lakers point guard woes. Nash is an elite player who is leading the league in assists on a dismal Phoenix Suns team.
Just imagine what he can do with Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum.
The problem with Nash, though, is that he just turned 38. In other words, he's going to be a quick fix. But the way he's playing, it seems like he can play another two or three years.
The biggest concern in acquiring Nash is if Phoenix would even trade him to a team within their own division. The Lakers will probably have to give up Pau Gasol, Andrew Goudelock, draft picks and maybe more if they want to acquire the two-time MVP.
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Here's a guy who gets about 25 minutes of playing time per game for the atrocious Cleveland Cavaliers and he puts up decent numbers. He's averaging 10.2 points and 5.7 assists per game this season.
If he has guys like Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, just imagine how much his numbers will improve.
Sessions isn't the type of guy who's going to put up 20 points per game, but as mentioned before, the Lakers don't need that. They just need a guy to facilitate the offense and Sessions is more than capable of doing this.
The best part of acquiring Sessions is that the Lakers probably won't have to part ways with Pau Gasol.
The Cavaliers are looking to rebuild with draft picks and the Lakers can supply them with that along with the $8 million trade exception.
There's a reason why the Lakers are pursuing him already.
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Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles hinted last month if the Lakers would pursue Deron Williams.
It totally makes sense for both sides. The more the Nets lose, the less likely it is that D-Will will stay with the Nets come free agency. Does it make sense for the Nets to let him walk for nothing after they gave up so much for him?
With the Lakers in desperate need of a point guard, they can afford to trade Andrew Bynum for Deron Williams and sign him to a long-term extension. It's going to be costly to acquire one of the best point guards in the league, but it may be worth giving up Bynum.
The Lakers will then have Gasol, Bryant, and Williams. The identity of the team's offense will massively change, but it's not like they have a concrete one right now to begin with.
The Nets, on the other hand, get a top-five center and they can move Brook Lopez in order to rebuild the team.
Let's face it, Mr. Prokhorov. The D-Will Project did not work. Better to admit that now and move Williams and get something in return, rather than trying to save face and having the Nets enter a downward spiral for another decade.
The only problem with this trade is the change of identity, and how the defense will work. Also, Williams ran Jerry Sloan out of town in Utah. Can he and Kobe coexist?
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While watching the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers game last week, I thought of how fortunate the Lakers would be to have a guy like Jose Calderon running the offense.
He's a distributor who is averaging 8.8 assists per game on a terrible Raptors team. It's also important to note that he's a Spaniard and he will absolutely enjoy playing with fellow countryman, Pau Gasol.
The Lakers also probably won't have to give up Pau either in the trade. They can offer their trade exception and draft picks and it should work. If they do need to add Gasol, they can ask for Linas Kleiza or another solid forward to increase the depth in their bench.
It sounds crazy, but adding Calderon could really solve all of the Lakers problems. They'll have the thickness down low with Bynum and Gasol, the explosiveness of Kobe, and a solid distributor in Calderon.
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We've all seen the Rajon Rondo for Pau Gasol rumors, which can't even happen because of the salary discrepancy between the two teams.
But assuming the two rivals can somehow work out a deal, it will be money for the Lakers. Rondo is possibly the best distributor in the game and he has an unmatched work ethic. His play is inspiring and it should give the Lakers offense a huge boost.
Most importantly, he plays defense and doesn't turn the ball over.
Problem with this is that the Celtics will definitely not do this trade. Rondo is the centerpiece of the franchise now with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett all entering the twilight of their careers.
And if it does happen, the Lakers will have to give up a lot. They may need to do a three-team deal to make it happen. Perhaps if they said Andrew Bynum to Orlando, and they send Dwight Howard to Boston, and the Celtics send Rondo to LA, it could happen.
It's just a crazy scenario that has absolutely no chance of happening, but it's fun to think about.
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Ricky Rubio is having a solid rookie year up in Minnesota with 10.7 points and 8.6 assists per game. He would be a fantastic addition to the Lakers backcourt and like Jose Calderon, he'll mesh well with fellow Spaniard Pau Gasol.
What's interesting though is that the Minnesota Timberwolves have expressed interest in Pau Gasol and they want to offer Derrick Williams for him. They also said that Rubio is untouchable so it would be quite difficult to land him.
Talk is cheap, though, right?
Maybe the Lakers would be able to acquire Rubio for Gasol and a draft pick. The draft pick would be highly beneficial for the rebuilding Wolves and they'll still be able to build around the core of Kevin Love, Pau Gasol and Derrick Williams.
As for the Lakers, the triple threat of Rubio, Bryant, and Bynum is as enticing as it gets. They're young, athletic, and exciting and the Lakers should become instant contenders.