NBA Offseason 2012: 5 Point Guards the Lakers Should Target
Ramon Sessions is a rotation player. Steve Blake should be serving popcorn. Yet due to lack of talent at point guard, Sessions is a starter, and Blake is a rotation player.
The Lakers should go point guard hunting this offseason, and luckily for them there are plenty of options. Here are five guys the Lakers should target.
I want to emphasize something. At this point in his career, Jason Kidd is about as useful as a poopy flavored lollipop.
He should not be viewed as someone to fill the hole, rather as someone who can split playing time with Ramon Sessions.
As a last resort, though, the Lakers could certainly do worse than Kidd. He gives them something they haven't had in quite some time: a point guard who can actually pass. Derek Fisher pretty much just shot three-pointers, and Sessions is more of an athlete.
Kidd might be able to open things up for the big men down low, and he would give the Lakers someone who could run the offense while Kobe Bryant is on the bench.
He's not a great option, but he's better than nothing.
Miller's getting older, and he certainly isn't the fierce defender he once was, but he's a great fit for the Lakers.
Miller's best trait is his ability to play off of the ball. For the Lakers, that is huge. That means he can be effective playing next to Kobe Bryant.
He's also versatile. He's still an above-average defender at the point guard spot, he rebounds very well for a guard, and he can do almost anything you ask of him other than shoot three-pointers.
He's essentially the perfect supplemental player for the Lakers. He'll do all of the things they need out of a point guard next to Kobe. He's no star, but they don't need one. I'd look hard at Andre Miller if I were running the Lakers.
It's rare for a 27-year-old to have potential, but that's the case with Raymond Felton. He's never really gotten a chance.
The point is we've seen what Felton can do, but he's never gotten a chance to do it long-term.
Given that chance, I think Felton could blossom into an excellent player. He's a solid shooter who can get to the basket and distribute to teammates. He's also a leader; he plays the game with a swagger that rubs off on his teammates.
As a Knicks fan, I can vouch for Felton. You want this guy on your team. His 2010 stats may have been inflated by Mike D'Antoni, but he's a gamer, someone who will endear himself to his fans and his teammates by playing hard and making big plays when they count. If he gets back into basketball shape, he'd make a great Laker.
The Lakers (and Knicks and Heat, for that matter) are lucky that Steve Nash is 38 instead of 28. He has essentially violated the laws of nature by still playing at a near MVP level despite his age.
But Nash really is getting older. He's only going to play for a few more years. And he wants a ring. That means he's going to play for a contender.
I've said several times that Miami and New York are the favorites. He lives in New York and might want to play with Amar'e Stoudemire again, and Miami is the natural destination for any ring chaser.
That doesn't mean the Lakers are out of the race, though. A Nash-Kobe Bryant backcourt would immediately become one of the best in the NBA, and with their All-Star big man duo, they'd have four of the best players in the league.
That kind of raw talent would put them on par with the Thunder and Spurs at the top of the Western Conference.
Nash would also be a welcome change to the Lakers' Kobe-centric offense. He would actually promote ball movement and real offensive sets, something we didn't see under Mike Brown last year.
I wouldn't bet on Nash coming to the Lakers, but they'll be in the running for his services. If they manage to sign him, they'll be right back in contention for the NBA title.
Deron Williams is the big fish in this year's free-agency pool. Every team with cap space will give him a call, but realistically, it's going to come down to big-market teams. That means Dallas, Brooklyn, New York (in a sign-and-trade) and the Lakers.
The Nets would be very tempted to trade Williams to the Lakers if he decides he wants to play for them. L.A. could offer them a real star (Pau Gasol) to open their new arena. While I disagree with the method, it appears to be what they want.
Williams would be what Chris Paul was supposed to be: the future of the team. He'd be the point guard who made the Lakers contenders now and kept them in the hunt for the next decade along with Andrew Bynum.
Players like Williams don't come around very often, so if the Lakers get a chance at him, they should take it. Williams may not be a great fit next to Kobe Bryant, but with that much talent between them, they'll make it work.
This move would be about the future as well as the present. It gets the Lakers someone to succeed Kobe as the franchise player. In the present, though, Williams is by far the best point guard the Lakers can get.