After being unceremoniously bounced from the playoffs in the second round by the Oklahoma City Thunder, it is clear that the Los Angeles Lakers must make a change to become the title contender they once were. Adding Deron Williams would be just such a change.
According to a source of Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated, Williams has stated in private that he would be interested in joining Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. However, it would have to be in a sign-and-trade, as the Lakers have literally no cap room.
No one could blame Williams for wanting to head to LA, as his arrival would make the Lakers an immediate contender in the West for a championship.
Acquiring Williams would require the Lakers to give up something, and, according to Amick, that would probably mean giving up young center Andrew Bynum. Bynum hasn’t hidden the fact that he’s been frustrated over the past couple of years and would welcome a change of scenery.
Meanwhile, Williams would be the point guard upgrade that the Lakers really need. Ramon Sessions was a nice pickup for the Lakers at the trade deadline, and he played well for them this season.
However, he is not the player Williams is. Williams is one of the few point guards who Kobe Bryant would actually respect enough to run the offense. The Brooklyn Nets star would be able to spread the wealth and allow other players to flourish along with Bryant.
Williams would also take pressure off Bryant offensively, and vice versa. The former Illinois Illini averaged 21 points and 8.7 assists per game this past season while shooting 40 percent from the field and 34 percent from three.
His assist average was actually the lowest of his career since his rookie year, and his shooting percentages were also down. Those would all improve with better players around him like Bryant and Pau Gasol.
Such a trade would also allow Gasol to play better. He would probably move to center and would have a lot of room to work in the post without Bynum taking up so much space.
Williams and Gasol would be a terror in the pick and roll game, and Bryant would be there to bail out the offense when needed. This coveted backcourt duo would also be good defensively and able to stand against the best backcourts in the league. Surround them with some three-point shooters and you have a team that can compete with the best of them.
Deron Williams is the missing piece for this team. He improves them on offense and on defense. He makes their half-court offense work and gives them a field general that can make everyone better without crippling the play of Kobe Bryant.
That’s what the Lakers need for a title. A point guard who can defend, assist and score, and that’s what Deron Williams is.