NBA Free Agency 2012: The Lakers Need to Sign Ronnie Brewer

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IJuly 11, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 06: Ronnie Brewer #11 of the Chicago Bulls reacts to a call while Evan Turner #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 6, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers won 89-82 to go up 3-1 in the series. 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 Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers fulfilled their biggest offseason need by signing Steve Nash to a 3 year, $27 million deal.

The Canadian-born point guard is not only a huge upgrade over Ramon Sessions, but he will also make everybody around him better. Nash will put the Lakers into a position to not only contend for a Western Conference title, but also an NBA championship.

However, Los Angeles still sits behind a young and rugged Oklahoma City team that easily dispatched the Lakers in five games this past season.

While stopping Kevin Durant is almost inconceivable, the key to beating the Thunder might be slowing down their young point guard Russell Westbrook. When he's hot, Westbrook is unstoppable, especially when he's hitting that 20-foot jumper. However, he can also have spurts when he hurts his team, by missing shots and not passing the ball to Durant enough.

Los Angeles needs a defensive stopper, who can play on both Westbrook and James Harden when needed.

With Kirk Hinrich off the market, Ronnie Brewer might be the answer.

Brewer's option was declined by the Bulls, making him a free agent in this late hour.

Most veteran teams have filled up their cap space, considering that teams can sign free agents starting tomorrow.

The Arkansas guard might be compelled to sign with a contender in the Lakers for one year, then test his value in the summer of 2013.

Brewer is a very versatile player, who can play the 2 and sometimes even the 1. He uses his length very well and has established himself as one of the better perimeter defenders. His size allows him to post up guards at ease, making him a matchup problem for other second unit players.

His defense will be greatly needed, especially against Western Conference guards like Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Chris Paul. While all five of these players cannot be stopped completely by Brewer, his length will allow him to slow down these offensively proficient players.

Brewer is not the "big name" acquisition that Steve Nash is, but his skills on the defensive end of the floor make the Lakers a more formidable threat in the West.