Some of the early season problems the Los Angeles Lakers are having stem from an inability to shoot the three-pointer and an inability to keep guys in front of them on defense.
Ironically, there's a proven veteran still in the free agent pool that would be a perfect role player for new head coach Mike D'Antoni's system.
Combining a fiery personality with a sharpshooter pedigree and an ability to play tough defense, he would be a great fit for the new-look Lakers.
His name is Mickael Pietrus.
According to Max Luckan of CBS, the Lakers are going to either stand pat or go in a different direction.
Source: Lakers are not interested in Mickael Pietrus at this time.— Max Luckan (@MaxLuckan) November 17, 2012
Of course, this could be an obvious commitment to the current 15-man roster. LA would have to cut or trade one of its current players to make a bid for Pietrus, and even then it would cost them a pretty penny more than they're already spending.
However, there is an obvious need for an upgrade, and with D'Antoni on board, he could benefit from a player with experience in systems like Golden State and Phoenix.
There's been plenty of interest league-wide.
The Indiana Pacers are said to have contacted Pietrus, as well as the Minnesota Timberwolves and Toronto Raptors. All three clubs reached out, but no agreement was made.
That leaves him as the best remaining free agent at his position.
Is LA making a mistake by not pursuing Pietrus?
The trio of Metta World Peace, Devin Ebanks and Jodie Meeks has been far from impressive during the team's slide to start the season.
World Peace is almost exclusively shooting three-pointers, while the latter duo can't get anything going from the field—neither is shooting above 23 percent from outside.
Pietrus is a career 35 percent three-point shooter who brings energy and a selfless attitude to a team in dire need of that skill set. He's also averaged close to a steal and a block per contest.
Last season, he was a key cog on the Boston Celtics as they challenged the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals. He was also with the Orlando Magic when they went to the NBA Finals, only to lose to these same Lakers.
That kind of playoff pedigree, coupled with his extensive resume as a solid player, would have made him a good pickup for this team in the middle of a remodeling effort.
It looks like LA is going to pass on his services—for now.
Hopefully the rest of the wing players will turn it around soon or Pietrus will be hitting shots elsewhere when the Lakers realize that they made a mistake.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.