With Steve Nash and Pau Gasol still on the shelf and the depleted Los Angeles Lakers struggling to stay afloat in the Western Conference, cries for help at point guard have been rampant in the Staples Center.
One of the names linked to the team is Delonte West. For both parties' sake, the embattled guard should never wear the purple and gold this season.
According to a report from ESPN's Marc Stein and the Los Angeles Times, West is one of the main names the team continues to discuss during this tumultuous part of the season.
Money is no issue here. The Lakers have the pocketbook to absorb any kind of league penalty, and the need for another point guard is there, with Darius Morris and Chris Duhon not being exactly the kind of weaponry Mike D'Antoni figured he'd be working with.
The problem with West—and it's been this way for quite some time—is his impact on the locker room.
L.A. is already struggling with team chemistry. Adding players in the offseason, firing a head coach and adding another with a completely different philosophy will do that to a team. Bleacher Report's own Ethan Norof noted much of the same in his following of the team.
#Lakers look like a team that is searching for an identity, don't communicate & haven't played w/ each other. Chemistry built, not bought.— Ethan Norof (@Mr_Norof) December 10, 2012
That being the case, West isn't the right guy to bring in for this current squad.
Sure, his impact on the court could far outweigh any potential problems he would have outside of the game. But over the course of the last three years, he's proved to be a problem for teams on the character side of the game—whether or not he got a fair shake.
He was arrested on a felony weapons charge in 2009, leading to his exit from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Rumors of a relationship with LeBron James' mother also floated around during his time with the team, although West denies those claims vehemently.
With the Dallas Mavericks in parts of the last two seasons, West was a regular contributor and looked poised to regain his role as a mid-range assassin and lockdown defender, averaging 9.3 points and 3.2 assists while battling a gruesome finger injury.
Then reports of his effect on the locker room in Dallas began to surface, culminating with his second dismissal from the team in late October—just days before the team's opener against the Lakers—this time for good.
The last thing L.A. needs is more distractions. Kobe Bryant and Co. are dealing with Pau Gasol rumors, learning a new offense and doing so without the point guard who was supposed to be the new Robin to Bryant's Batman.
Throw in Dwight Howard's antics and, yes, you get the drift.
The Lakers are dealing with so many storylines it can't be overstated that they need to lay low for a while. It might not be possible in Hollywood, but it won't ever come to fruition if the "When will West screw up" media time bomb is there in the middle of the season.
Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.