NBA Rumors: Why Los Angeles Lakers Would Be Ideal Landing Spot for Goran Dragic

Ethan NorofCorrespondent IApril 12, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 06:  Goran Dragic #3 of the Houston Rockets heads to the basket past Ramon Sessions #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a 112-107 Rockets win at Staples Center on April 6, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  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 Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Goran Dragic should replace Ramon Sessions as the starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers next season.

While Sessions has had a fantastic impact on the Lakers since arriving via trade, there is a chance he'll be a free agent at season's end (he has an early termination option in his contract), and Sessions will undoubtedly be looking for a raise if he opts out.

When Dragic's name was being tossed around as a potential player the Lakers could target in a potential Pau Gasol trade with the Houston Rockets, many fans dismissed the notion that he could fill the role of starting point guard.

Does anyone still really believe that?

With Dragic, it's always been about a lack opportunity, not skills. He's been playing behind good point guards, limiting the chances he's had to play major minutes in the lineup.

However, Dragic stepped up in a big way when Kyle Lowry went down with a bacterial infection, and he quickly turned heads around the league as a legitimate starter on any team.

Dragic has started 20 games this season for the Rockets, averaging 18.2 points, 8.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game while shooting a solid 50.4 percent from the floor.

It's also worth noting that Dragic is shooting 41.8 percent from behind the arc and 83.7 percent from the charity stripe while averaging a whopping 37 minutes in a starting role.

He does it all, and there is no question that Dragic has earned his way to becoming a starter in this league.

With Lowry entrenched as the long-term starter for the Rockets, Dragic is looking for an opportunity to start with whatever team he signs with in free agency (via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle).

"I want to be a starter," said Dragic.

Hasn't he earned that right?

I'm going to make a lot of Lakers fans angry suggesting that Sessions should be gone after the year, but let's make something very clear: This is about making the team better for the long haul.

Sessions is a player who does well with the ball in his hands frequently, but that's not going to happen with a healthy Kobe Bryant playing alongside him as often as some would like to see.

Since joining the starting lineup, Sessions has accumulated double-digit assists three times. Comparatively, Dragic has hit that mark six times when he serves as the starter.

Dragic moves the without the ball better than Sessions does, and that's an important quality to have when considering who fits best next to Bryant in the backcourt.

If Sessions opts in to his contract and remains in Los Angeles, it obviously changes the scenario.

However, if Sessions goes searching for a bigger pay day than the Lakers would be willing to give him, it would certainly be wise for Los Angeles to go target Dragic as the next starting point guard.

He's a dynamic young player who has his best years ahead of him, and it would be wonderful to see what he could accomplish playing alongside Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.

Dragic has never had weapons like that before, and there's reason to believe he could turn in several All-Star caliber seasons if donning the purple and gold.