Lakers Rumors: Why the Lakers Must Steal Brandon Jennings at the Deadline
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Sitting at 26-16 and third place in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Lakers are close to title contention—but they need to make an upgrade at the trade deadline to put them over the top.
As their roster is currently constructed, the Lakers' biggest hole is at point guard. If Los Angeles could somehow trade for Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks, then they would have the point guard they need to win a championship.
The Lakers' current point guard is Derek Fisher. While Fisher has been a key cog for the Lakers throughout his career, he's clearly in decline.
Fisher is 37 years old and his age is showing. While Fisher's never been a prolific scorer, he's scoring his least amount of points since the 1998-99 season. Now averaging only 5.7 points per game, Fisher has seen his scoring average drop every season for the last three years.
He's also only shooting 38.4 percent from the floor and 32.4 percent from three-point range, both of which are well below his career averages.
Fisher's turnover percentage is tied for fourth-worst in his career, and it's the worst Fisher's posted since before the millennium. On top of that, his win shares per 48 minutes is at its lowest since his rookie year of 1996-97.
Brandon Jennings is already currently better than Fisher, and at just 22 years old, Jennings is likely to continue to progress.
He's much more explosive than Fisher, and he posts a better win shares per 48 minutes, lower turnover percentage and a higher assists percentage.
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Jennings is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in 2014, assuming he doesn't sign a long-term extension with Milwaukee—Jennings has indicated that he won't sign one. Instead, he will be doing his "homework on big-market teams."
Based in the city that's the second-largest media market in the United States, the Lakers are certainly a big-market team.
Jennings also might be willing to sign an extension to stay with the Lakers, considering it's his preferred market size and he grew up in the Los Angeles area.
Trading for Jennings would be an ideal situation for the Lakers. He's an upgrade at their biggest need position, he's only going to get better and he'd probably be willing to sign an extension to stay with the Lakers.
The Lakers have most of the pieces to contend for a championship. Adding Jennings to the mix would surely put them over the top.
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