The Los Angeles Lakers have been exploring the trade market for a player to fill their need at point guard. While there are no shortage of options who would be an upgrade over Derek Fisher, Kirk Hinrich is one the Lakers should avoid.
Alex Kennedy of Hoops World reports Hinrich is one of several names being considered by Los Angeles' front office as the deadline approaches:
Los Angeles has also been pursuing Kirk Hinrich in recent weeks. The Lakers have been linked to Hinrich in the past and the Atlanta Hawks would move the veteran point guard if the right deal came along. The two teams have had conversations in recent weeks.
The main problem with Hinrich, as opposed to other targets such as Raymond Felton, is that he's never been a pass-first point guard. The Kansas product has never topped seven assists per game in his career, and his total has only decreased as time has gone on.
Mitch Kupchak should be seeking somebody who has a better track record of being a distributor. With Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum all healthy, there aren't exactly a bunch of shots available for the point guard.
That's why the team has been able to stay on top for so long despite Fisher's decline. But it's reached a point where the veteran is actually hurting the team to be on the floor, whereas previously he was at least serviceable.
Should the Lakers try to get Hinrich from Atlanta?
Think of it like the “game manager” label for NFL quarterbacks. For a long time Fisher was able to limit his mistakes and hit enough shots to warrant keeping his starting job. Now his errors and lack of scoring punch outweigh his leadership qualities.
So it's become painfully an obvious an upgrade is necessary before the playoff push. That said, the Lakers just can't take the first available name.
Hinrich would need a couple weeks to get back up to full speed after riding the pine in Atlanta all season. And even then there's no guarantee he would jump start the Lakers offense to make them Western Conference contenders again.
Fans are rightfully anxious for the team to make a deal because anything less than a championship isn't good enough for an organization like the Lakers. However, if they try to force a square peg in a round hole, the problems will only get worse.
That's why Kupchak must maintain a level of selectivity when deciding which point guard to pursue over the next week. Hinrich isn't a good match, and therefore should be avoided.