Lakers Should Consider These Guards
The Los Angeles Lakers have some serious defensive issues! And that is an understatement.
And being that their head coach is Phil Jackson, who's resume hardly needs to be mentioned, it's hard to believe that defensive strategy is their problem. It's obvious that the Lakers lack the personnel to have a good defensive team. For whatever reason this team is not motivated to play defense at all!
Defending the Pick-n-Roll Is a Problem for the Lakers!
Yet another understatement.
The biggest problem with the Lakers’ defense is their inability to even challenge the opponents’ point guards from getting into the paint via screen rolls. This absolutely tears the Lakers’ defense apart.
For this reason, I have compiled a list of the top eight point guards who the Lakers should be looking at picking up.
There are a couple factors involved to be on this list. 1) There has to be a legitimate reason as to how the Lakers could actually get this player and 2) it has to be a player who could actually fit in and make the team better.
It's obvious that the Lakers don't need more scoring, they have plenty of that. What they need is a point guard to come off the bench and get his hands dirty playing some defense! And with the most recent injury to backup reserve PG Jordan Farmar, it looks like the Lakers need this role filled more than ever.
Who's The Lakers Trade Bait?
The obvious ones are Vladamir Radmanovic ($6 million/year), Luke Walton ($4.5 million/year), and Chris Mihm ($2.5 million/year). These are by far the three most expendable players on the Lakers roster.
1) Kirk Hinrich
Kirk Hinrich has always been known as a "hustler" who will get on the floor after loose balls; a gritty defender and competitor who can also shoot the ball well offensively.
Because of the new addition of Derrick Rose, and Larry Hughes trying to get as much playing time as possible, it seems as though Kirk Hinrich has been left out of the Chicago Bulls equation.
Hinrich currently makes $10 million/year, so the Lakers would have to combine a couple players in the deal to make it happen. Such a scenario would need to involve both Vladamir Radmanovic and Luke Walton!
2) Larry Hughes
If by chance the Chicago Bulls want to keep Kirk Hinrich in their plans, that makes Larry Hughes the odd man out for them. Larry Hughes is a taller point guard, something that of course coach Phil Jackson has always been fond of.
He's a solid defender and a streaky scorer. He wouldn't give you as much "hustle" as Hinrich would, but overall defensive ability he has much more! Hughes currently makes $12.8 million/year. To make this trade possible you would be looking at giving up all three; Radmanovic, Walton & Mihm.
3) Earl Watson
Earl Watson, the former UCLA baller, is currently playing for the worst team in the NBA; the Thunder. He's got a terrible looking jump shot but he is athletic and competitive and would do a good job in the Lakers’ system defending other teams’ point guards. His quickness and strength give him a good advantage over many.
Because the Thunder are so bad, and because of the emergence of rookie PG Russell Westbrook, the Thunder may be willing to part ways with Watson. He makes $6.2 million per season, which would allow the Lakers either to give up Radmanovic or a combo of Walton & Mihm for Watson.
4) Bobby Jackson
All us Lakers fans are very familiar with Sacramento Kings PG Bobby Jackson! Bobby Jackson is not the greatest defender, but he is a solid all-around point guard both offensively and defensively, which makes him a good pick up.
The Kings are not really using him, and I'm sure he would like to play for a contender now that he is getting older. But trades with the Sacramento Kings are almost impossible for the Lakers. He makes currently $6.5 million/season.
5) Marcus Banks
A couple years ago the Lakers tried to sign PG Marcus Banks to help them with their pick-and-roll defense. The Phoenix Suns stepped in and signed him to beat the Lakers to the punch, only to eventually trade him to the Miami Heat in the Shaq deal.
Marcus Banks is currently getting next to no playing time in Miami. He is extremely quick and athletic and has very good hands making him the perfect defensive candidate for the Lakers at PG. His contract is set at $4.2 million/season, which means the Lakers could give up just Luke Walton in order to get him!
6) Lindsey Hunter
Another Chicago Bull on the list. Hunter won a ring with the Lakers earlier this decade, and is familiar with Coach Phil Jackson and the triangle. Even though he's 38 years old, and cannot do a lot of the things offensively that he used to do he can still defend! And bringing him off the bench sparingly for Derek Fisher could be great for him and the Lakers.
He's only making $722,000 this season, so the Lakers could trade someone small for him or just buy him up with the Bulls want to get rid of him. He's definitely last on the list, but if the first five scenario's can't be worked out, he wouldn't be that bad of a solution!
Tell me again why the Lakers would need one of these Point Guards?
Horrible perimeter defense! It's that simple. The Lakers have the twin tower effect going on inside with Gasol and Bynum, but it's not working because guards are able to so easily penetrate the lane and break up the Lakers defense. And remember, the Lakers are looking at a Championship this season and anything less will be a disappointment for them.
And if they want to win it all, they are going to have to beat the Celtics. And with Rajon Rondo emerging as an all-star this season, the Lakers better find a solution for him quickly!
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