Lakers News: Latest Updates on Team's Pursuit of Leandro Barbosa and Other PGs

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2013

Nov 10, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA;  Boston Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa (12) during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.  The Celtics defeated the Bucks 96-92.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It's come to this for the Los Angeles Lakers: Kobe Bryant is starting at point guard.

As's Dave McMenamin reported, Steve Blake will be out for at least six weeks after tearing his right ulnar collateral ligament. That leaves the team without a single healthy point guard, after injuries to both Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar.

Bryant will play the point for the time being.

Graphic designer Tyson Beck came up with this awesome visual for Kobe at the point.

However, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is keeping the team's options open. According to McMenamin, he said:

I think for the time being we're going to roll with what we've got. To find a player that doesn't belong to somebody right now that can come in and play in front of Kobe [Bryant], in front of Xavier [Henry], in front of Jodie [Meeks], it's unlikely.

But maybe there's a player out there that we can take a look at. ... It's a good time to perhaps look at a player, but I don't think there's somebody that we're going to bring in and we're going to start or is going to play big minutes.

Leandro Barbosa was mentioned as a possibility, as were former Lakers Darius Morris and Chris Duhon.

January 15, 2013;  Los Angeles, CA, USA;   Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni talks to center Robert Sacre (50), power forward Antawn Jamison (4), point guard Chris Duhon (21), point guard Darius Morris (1) and shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) dur
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

While fans won't be blown away by any of those names, the team has its hands cuffed in terms of available options. The Lakers aren't in a position where they can lure any big names to Los Angeles, nor can they put a good trade package together.

Barbosa, Morris and Duhon are without teams, making things a little easier. At least Morris and Duhon have experience with the team, while Barbosa will know Mike D'Antoni's offense after those years as a Phoenix Sun.

The team could do worse, and at this point, a healthy body is better than nothing.

Ramona Shelburne of reported the Lakers are waiting to hear more news about Nash' status before they make any firm decisions.

As much as Kupchak may want to stand pat regarding a new point guard, he may not have the choice.

Bryant's defensive abilities have been waning in recent years. You don't know how he'll be able to handle the wealth of star point guards in the league.

In addition, the team is pinning its hopes on a 35-year-old coming off of an Achilles injury. Although there have been advancements in medicine, NBA players haven't had a great track record when recovering from that kind of injury. There's no telling what kind of player he'll be this year.

His performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night could influence the team's decision.

If he can keep Russell Westbrook from having a huge game, the Lakers may feel comfortable in sticking with what they've got.

But if Westbrook goes off and Bryant is a massive liability on the defensive end, the may be giving Duhon, Barbosa or Morris a call.

No matter what Los Angeles does, it almost certainly won't make the team radically better than it is at the moment. As much as Bryant and L.A. may want it to be the opposite, this is essentially a lost season as the franchise tries to start over and plan for an impact free-agent signing in the offseason.