Lakers Rumors: C.J. Miles Would Complete Lakers' Bench Puzzle

Stephen Babb@@StephenBabbFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2012

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 23:  Forward C.J. Miles #34 of the Utah Jazz takes a shot against Brian Cardinal #35 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on February 23, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

No, C.J. Miles was never the biggest name on the free-agent market.

If he had been, he wouldn't still be available.

The Los Angeles Lakers have their share of big names. That's not what they need at this point. In a bid to improve the roster's lackluster bench, general manager Mitch Kupchak has already signed veteran forward Antawn Jamison, and he may not stop there.

Miles could be next according to the Salt Lake Tribune's Brian T. Smith:

C.J. Miles considering signing one or two-year deal with Lakers, source says, likely for mini mid-level.

— Brian T. Smith (@tribjazz) July 31, 2012

There are some very obvious reasons the Lakers could use a guy like Miles coming off the bench.

For one thing, the only other guy who can give Metta World Peace a rest is 22-year-old Devin Ebanks, a still-raw option by almost any measure. Ebanks had some opportunities to prove himself last season, but he couldn't string together enough consistent performances to justify a prominent role this year.

Miles can also give the overused Kobe Bryant some rest at shooting guard, but his unimpressive defense is especially exposed against quicker 2s.

And, of course, that's one area of need Miles won't solve.

Nor will Steve Nash or Antawn Jamison, though. The Lakers' 15th-ranked defense will be lucky not to slip even further with these guys on the roster.

Nevertheless, Los Angeles isn't exactly in the best position to bring in the defensive pick of the litter.

It might be a stretch to call a team with such a bloated payroll "beggars," but whatever you want to call them, they can't be choosers. At this point, Kupchak has to make due with the little available talent with which he has to work.

Put in that perspective, Miles isn't a bad addition.

As the Los Angeles Times' Mark Medina notes, this guy can get to the rim and score some buckets at the very least. With Antawn Jamison and Steve Blake doing virtually all of their damage from the perimeter, a slasher likes Miles makes some sense.

Miles is more of a role player than a legitimate sixth-man, but that's just as well. He could still put up eight or nine points per game, albeit somewhat inefficiently. He's shot just 41 and 38 percent from the field over the last two seasons.

But again, keep this in perspective. James Harden isn't coming to this second unit any time soon.

For a bench that just didn't have many options last season, Miles is an affordable step in the right direction.