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Lakers Rumors: Jodie Meeks and Players LA Must Add to Improve Outside Shooting

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10:  Jodie Meeks #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the New Jersey Nets at Prudential Center on April 10, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.  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 Chris Chambers/Getty Images)
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Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIJuly 9, 2012

The Los Angeles Lakers have addressed one glaring need by cutting a deal with Steve Nash to shore up their point guard situation, now they badly need to address their other issues.

Los Angeles shot just 32.6 percent from three-point range during the 2011-12 season (which ranked 25th in the NBA) and must sign some players to help improve that area. Nash will help but he can't do it on his own.

Here is a list of several guys who could easily step in and make the Lakers much more lethal from long range.

 

Jodie Meeks

According to Adam Kennedy, the Lakers have expressed interest in 24-year-old guard Jodie Meeks, a 6'4" guard who can knock down open shots. He is a career 37.1 percent three-point shooter, and while he is more equipped to handle the point guard spot, Meeks could step in and play off the ball on Los Angeles' second unit.

Meeks has spent the last three seasons in Philadelphia with the 76ers and started 50 games in 2011-12. The chance to contend for a title and be a sharp-shooter off the bench should entice him enough to head west if the Lakers truly want him. The team should make a deal happen.

 

Jerryd Bayless

The Toronto Raptors have opted to rescind their qualifying offer to guard Jerryd Bayless, making him a free-agent. The former 11th overall pick in the draft has the ability to be a prolific scorer, but he has yet to be on a squad that turned him loose. 

Bayless has been on three teams in his four NBA seasons, and despite averaging 11.4 points per game and hitting 42.3 percent of his shots from beyond the arc last season, the Raptors are giving up on him. Bayless would be a perfect fit as a scorer off the bench for the Lakers.

 

Brandon Rush

Rush is a restricted free agent and the Golden State Warriors could match any offer made to him by the Lakers or any other team. But with Matt Barnes likely walking away, the small forward would step in and be a perfect fit. Rush hit 45 percent of his shots from three-point range last season, and he would be a perfect fit to help spread the floor. 

The big problem here is that the Warriors extended a $4 million qualifying offer for Rush and they would almost certainly match any offer for him, but the Lakers should pursue him anyway and see what happens. Rush is the kind of long-range shooter that can change an offense.

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