Time after time this past NBA season and postseason, we saw the Lakers get out-hustled, out-run and simply out-played by hungrier, more athletic teams. The constant gaps and defensive lapses were bolstered by weak offensive output, primarily at the point guard position. With a team that had been to the Finals three straight years, and an already mature backcourt with Derek Fisher and an injury plagued Kobe Bryant.
After being ousted by the Dallas Mavericks, the eventual NBA Finals champions, in a four-game sweep, the Lakers need to look at ways to improve their backcourt weaknesses. They were repeatedly exploited as the Mavericks were able to get penetration and kick out to their outside shooters.
Many speculated trade ideas are being thrown toward the Lakers for players such as Orlando's Dwight Howard, New Orleans' Chris Paul, Golden State's Monta Ellis and Minnesota's Kevin Love. However, once one looks past all of these largely unlikely transactions, there are very few solid options for the Lakers. One of these may be in the athletic yet enigmatic J.R. Smith of the Denver Nuggets.
In a crucial juncture for the Lakers, there are various skill sets and intangibles could Smith provide them, either starting or coming off the bench, assuming that they are able to acquire him.