The Los Angeles Lakers addressed several of their offensive needs in one fell swoop with the addition of Steve Nash, but Nash alone can't cover all of the L.A. bases.
Floor spacing and depth were among the lingering problems of last year's Lakers team, and while Nash both directly and indirectly helps in both regards (few can match Nash's ability to lift all role players with the high tide of his playmaking), a few minor additions could go a long way in terms of balancing the Lakers' roster.
One possible addition: unrestricted free-agent sharpshooter Jodie Meeks, who at the very least has popped up on L.A.'s radar:
The Los Angeles Lakers continue to express interest in Jodie Meeks, according to source. No deal is imminent, but the two sides are talking.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 27, 2012
Meeks' potential role for the Lakers would be nearly identical to the one he had with the Philadelphia Sixers over the last three seasons; Meeks would be the requisite long-range shooter to add balance in range-less lineups. In particular, Meeks would be a wonderful fit in units that included Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum without Kobe Bryant, thus keeping L.A.'s positional order more or less intact.
It's uncanny how much of a difference having a single shooter on the floor can make, particularly on teams that otherwise lack perimeter shooting. The Lakers certainly fall into that category; Los Angeles' only above-average three-point shooters last seasons put up too few attempts (Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy) or weren't consistent enough (Ramon Sessions) to make much of a tangible difference.
This left the bulk of the shots from beyond the arc to Kobe Bryant (4.9 attempts per game at 30.3 percent), Steve Blake (three attempts at 33.5 percent), Metta World Peace (three attempts at 29.6 percent) and Matt Barnes (2.2 attempts at 33.2 percent).
That's a dismal crop of specialized marksman for any team, much less one that has two high-minute big men bound by the arc (and in Bynum's case, bound by the restricted area).
Adding Meeks to the rotation—even in a limited capacity—would go a long way. As noted above, he would play off Bynum and Gasol beautifully and provide Nash a weak-side threat to work his pick-and-roll magic.
He isn't quite versatile enough to command a significant salary, and yet, his most reputable NBA skill just so happens to coincide with this hopeful contender's precise offensive needs.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!