Lakers News: Making Jodie Meeks a Priority over Leandro Barbosa Was Right Move

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer ISeptember 12, 2012

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)
Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Talks between Leandro Barbosa and the Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly died down after the Lakers signed Jodie Meeks, but Los Angeles is better off with Meeks than Barbosa.

Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD tweeted on Tuesday:

Leandro Barbosa told @balanacesta that talks with the Lakers cooled once LA signed Jodie Meeks. However, Steve Nash has been recruiting him.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) September 11, 2012

For those familiar with Barbosa's scoring ability as a 2-guard, it may not make much sense for the Lakers to go after Meeks before Barbosa. 

But a closer look at the team currently constructed proves otherwise.

Barbosa may be a proven veteran (at least offensively), but he's also an older player and Meeks has more upside moving forward. Meeks not only helps the Lakers' three-point shooting now, he has the potential to grow into a better player for when Kobe Bryant hands the team over to Dwight Howard (assuming, of course, Howard stays with the Lakers).

Meeks shot a respectable 36.5 percent from downtown last season with the Philadelphia 76ers. The 2009 second-rounder has shot 37.1 percent from beyond the arc for his career.

Sure, Barbosa shot well from downtown last season, too, but the one thing Meeks offers that the Brazilian doesn't is more upside at 25 years old (Barbosa is 29).

There's also the fact that the Lakers don't necessarily need another dynamic scoring threat right now. They already have Bryant, Howard, Pau Gasol and Steve Nash. They just need someone who can sit behind the arc and knock it down.

The Lakers shot 32.6 percent from three-point range last season, tied for 25th in the league. Meeks not only gives them a better option in that category, he will be more effective down the line with Barbosa aging.

Even if the Lakers miss out on Barbosa, they made the right move.


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