Lakers Trade Rumors: Moving a Backup PG Would Be Last Step in L.A.'s Makeover

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IOctober 23, 2012

ONTARIO, CA - OCTOBER 10:  Steve Blake #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers carries the ball past Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers at Citizens Business Bank Arena on October 10, 2012 in Ontario, California. 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 Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of money tied up in almost-worthless backup point guards. They are shopping said point guards and they are wise to do so.  

Marc Stein of ESPN recently reported the following rumor:

[The Lakers have] made it clear to the rest of the league that Chris Duhon and Steve Blake are available via trade to any interested willing to absorb one of those contracts. 

According to, Blake and Duhon have a combined $15.5 million coming to them the next two seasons with Blake making slightly more each season. Neither has the results to warrant that kind of pay. 

In 63 games with the Orlando Magic last year, Duhon, 30, averaged 3.8 points, 2.4 assists and 1.3 turnovers per game. Duhon has no ability to penetrate and he wilts under fierce pressure. He is a decent defender, but his offensive liabilities make it difficult to get him on the court. 

Blake, 32, was given ample opportunity to make the starting point guard position his, but he failed at almost every turn and wound up averaging 5.2 points, 3.3 assists and 1.4 turnovers, and he is terrible on defense.  

So trading one of these guys is not going to be an easy task. The Lakers will have to be willing to take on a similarly bad contract, or wait and see if a contender gets desperate for point guard depth and is willing to use a trade exception or take another drastic measure to add one of these guys. 

Obviously, the trade exception would be the preferable route for L.A. as it would allow it to clear useless salary off the books, but either way is a step in the right direction. 

In that same report, Stein mentions that the Lakers could look to bring back Derek Fisher. While Lakers fans are all too aware of the aging Fisher's faults, his presence would be a boost to the team, and say what you want, but the guy has a knack for coming up big in big moments. 

The same cannot be said of Duhon or Blake. 

The Lakers are going to need their backup point guards to provide solid minutes to give the very veteran Steve Nash ample breathers. Fisher, combined with either Duhon or Blake, would give Mike Brown more diversity in his backup group, all while Fisher is there to make the locker room stronger.