2010 NBA Draft Rumors: Los Angeles Lakers Have Areas To Improve
The Lakers won their second straight championship a week ago, but the front office has little time to celebrate as the draft and free agency are quickly approaching.
Though some may think that there is little area for improvement on this championship team, Mitch Kupchak and company have some work to do to keep this team at a championship level.
The big issue for this team going into next season is solving the point guard issue. Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar could both leave, but the Lakers will try to keep one of them for next year.
The Lakers only have two second round picks this season, so they might not be able to get any top-line talent. However, if they pick wisely, who knows, maybe the players could be sleepers and help the team down the road.
Which positions should the Lakers target?
Backup Big Man
There have been rumors of a Chris Bosh sign-and-trade deal to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum and Jordan Farmar, a move that makes some sense for both sides.
Even if this deal doesn't happen, the Lakers need some depth behind Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum. Josh Powell and DJ Mbenga aren't too menacing, and Los Angeles could use an upgrade over those guys.
Possible Pick: Solomon Alabi or Brian Zoubek.
Both of these players are 7-feet or taller and would give good defensive support when Bynum/Bosh and Gasol needed rest at the same time.
Who knows, maybe one of these guys could develop into a starter over time for the Lakers, so it wouldn't be too bad to use one of the second round picks on one of these guys.
Point Guard of the Future
Much has been made of the position the Lakers are in at point guard with the uncertainty surrounding Derek Fisher and Jordan Farmar.
A lot of that could be cleared up with a good projection pick at point guard, giving the Lakers the ability to keep Fisher for the next couple of seasons while a young point guard learns the ropes behind one of the best.
Even if they don't get a PG for the future, the Lakers still need some depth there because they will most likely lose either Farmar or Fisher. Expect the team to take a point guard with one of their picks.
Possible Pick: Alexey Shved.
This 21-year-old from Russia stands at 6'6", but has natural point guard skills, so he will likely stay at that position in the NBA.
He has the natural basketball talent to make an impact in the NBA from the second round of the draft.
As stated on the last slide, the Lakers probably need some depth at the guard position. Shannon Brown could test the market, along with the possible loss of either Farmar or Fisher.
A depth chart of Sasha Vujacic, Kobe Bryant, and Derek Fisher at the first two guard positions is a little thin on numbers, so the Lakers could add a guy in the draft at a guard position to just fill a spot on the roster.
Possible Pick: Greivis Vasquez or Matt Bouldin.
Vasquez lept onto the scene as a top player in the NCAA tournament this season and would bring a good bit of bench scoring for the Lakers. He has all the skills and is a natural scorer, but where is his ceiling?
Some think he doesn't have much of a future in the NBA.
Matt Bouldin also enjoyed a successful career at Gonzaga, but will those skills transfer to the NBA?
As we heard all playoffs long, Kobe Bryant is all about defense.
If the Lakers could add a defensive-minded player at any position, that would be a improvement for this team.
Pau Gasol has been labeled as "soft" on defense over his career, and even though he may have disproved some of those thoughts with his play in the finals, defense at the post position could be improved.
Possible Pick: Jerome Jordan or Trevor Booker.
Both of these players are athletic freaks and can be pests on defense. Either one of them can be had in the late second round, but you could see a big return on that investment if they realize their potential once they get into the NBA.