Forget Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, the Lakers Need O.J Mayo and Depth

Ryan SimonCorrespondent IIMay 18, 2011

Dwight Howard and Chris Paul are two very special players.

And just like the New York Knicks with Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers would pull the trigger to get either one of these players in a heartbeat.

However, after watching the embarrassing sweep at the hands of the Mavericks and then watching them beat the Thunder—as well as watching the Chicago Bulls crush the Miami Heat the night before—it's pretty obvious that depth matters.

The Lakers have been lucky with depth issues in the past due to Kobe Bryant being Kobe Bryant, and the emergence and trade of Pau Gasol. But when Pau Gasol averages 13.1 points during the entire postseason, and Dirk Nowitzki averages 25.3 against your team, you have a huge problem. To be successful in today's NBA, as evident by the playoffs, you need at least two top scorers and depth inside your bench.

Carlos Boozer isn't playing well? Throw in Taj Gibson.

Kirk Hinrich can't play? Here's some playing time, Jeff Teague.

Want some time to rest, Jason Kidd? We'll just throw in the pick-and-roll monster J.J. Barea.

See what I'm getting at here? Depth is so important, especially in the NBA where season-ending injures can happen at any moment.

O.J. Mayo would have been a steal for the Indiana Pacers if the trade actually happened, but he's not off the trade market yet. His stock value obviously went up due to a solid postseason showing, but the Lakers should still definitely pursue him.

Even though Kobe Bryant is one of the best players in the game, he needs as much rest as humanly possible. If the Lakers are leading a game in the regular season game by double digits, why should Kobe stay in the game? This would be a perfect time for O.J. Mayo to come in, relieve Kobe of his minutes and help the Lakers maintain their lead.

Shannon Brown had his fun, but he just doesn't fit in with the Lakers. His jump shooting is spotty and he prefers jacking up shots as opposed to settling down and getting the offense set.

O.J. Mayo isn't the solution for the Lakers problems, but he's definitely a step in the right direction.

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