The Los Angeles Lakers did what it took during the offseason to move themselves back into the contender category, which included adding Steve Nash to run the offense. The team has to make sure it keeps some depth behind the veteran point guard, though.
Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported the Western Conference powerhouse was looking to trade backup options Chris Duhon and Steve Blake now that Nash is expected to handle a majority of the minutes at the position.
Yet sources with knowledge of the Lakers' thinking say that the team is already trying to create a backcourt opening, having made it clear to the rest of the league that Chris Duhon and Steve Blake are available via trade to any interested party willing to absorb one of those contracts.
Having endured plenty of point guard woes in recent seasons, the Lakers should know better than any other team about the importance of depth. Not having a reliable point guard is one of the main reasons they bowed out in the second round each of the past two years.
Nash is going to provide a major boost in that area, there's no doubt about that. However, it's also important to remember the Canadian sensation is 38 and, even for a durable player like him, injuries start becoming more difficult to avoid at that point.
The Lakers already had their first minor scare when he suffered an ankle injury during a preseason game. He's already returned to practice, but it's a sign the Lakers should be cautious before letting their point guard depth go.
Duhon and Blake aren't anywhere near the same level as Nash, of course, but they would be capable of making sure the Lakers offense doesn't come to a grinding halt if Nash were forced to miss any time during the regular season.
However, even LeBron James and Co. will tell the Lakers how important depth can be. When Chris Bosh got hurt in the playoffs last season, Miami got contributions from other players to help the team push through until he returned.
The Lakers are set up for a big season, but there are surely going to be some bumps along the way when injuries strike. Los Angeles must maintain some depth at the key spots, including point guard, to ensure it can handle those rough patches.
It will pay off in the long run.