Lakers Continued Need For A Back-Up Shooting Guard

Lakers Continued Need For A Back-Up Shooting Guard


While constant rumors surrounding Dwight Howard and where he will land this off-season continue to grab the headlines around the basketball community, sports media and Twitter, the Lakers have made good on their public intentions to improve the bench. In fact, if you’re are looking for a little Dwightmare relief, this is the place as he has nothing to do with the subject of this article.

Considering the two dire needs that needed to be addressed during the offseason were to sign a credible point guard and to refine and upgrade the Lakers second unit, Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss are definitely making much progress in the off-season so far.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you already know that the Lakers were able to pull off another “Hail Mary” trade to acquire Steve Nash, which exceeds the fans’ expectations of who would run the point for the Lakers at the start of the season. Last week, the Lakers signed free agent Antawn Jamison and re-signed Jordan Hill.

By doing so, the Lakers second unit has already been improved by adding offense and versatility (Jamison) and energy and defense (Hill). The Lakers have made great additions to the roster so far for a rather conservative price, which is essential for the cash strapped franchise.

However, the Lakers are not done yet, as their second unit still has one piece of the puzzle left to complete. They still need a reserve shooting guard that will not only do a sold job at filling the shoes for Kobe Bryant on the floor, but who also adds another threat or two that will cause the opposing team to have to adjust to on defense.

Any Laker fan knows and understands the importance of Kobe Bryant’s presence on the court. Any Laker fan knows and understands the equal importance of resting Kobe Bryant as well. The two go hand-in-hand and will increase their symbiotic relationship as Bryant gets older and as his career deepens into the ending stage.

Yet, Kobe is not retiring next year, so there are necessities to put in place that allow him to play at an extremely high level for as long as possible. I have pointed out the following stats in previous articles, but I will reiterate them now since they have great importance of why the Lakers need to acquire a solid back-up shooting guard. Bryant averaged 38.5 minutes per game, which was ranked fourth in the NBA and was up from 33.9 minutes per game in the 2010-11 season.

Fatigue definitely had its impact on his field goal percentage of .430, which was his worst field goal percentage since his sophomore season in the NBA (’97-98) and he only started in one game that season. Last season Bryant also earned his worst true-shooting percentage of his 16-year career with 52.7 percent. Therefore, the Lakers need to be able to trust their second unit and their reserve shooting guard to be able to provide Bryant a little relief and rest so he can stay healthy and less pressured, which will result in his shooting percentages going back to its norm. The addition of Steve Nash will help this cause too, of course.

Secondly, the Lakers need and would be thrilled to add a shooting guard reserve that is able to shoot the long ball. The Lakers were tied with the Memphis Grizzles for twenty-fifth place in the league for three-point shooting with 32.6 percent. Kobe Bryant (.303), Metta World Peace (.296) and Steve Blake (.377), who are the Lakers “three-point shooters”, all struggled with the long ball especially during the first-half of the season.

While World Peace has recently reported that he is in his best shape in years, which will hopefully result in higher production, and Blake continues to find his confidence at the three-point line in LA, bringing in another three-point shooter off the bench will create much needed depth and spacing for the Lakers. That may be a key attribute Laker management uses to determine who to bring in at the two position.

Some, not all, of the possible and rumored players that the Lakers can add as a back-up shooting guard include restricted free agent Brandon Rush, unrestricted free agent Delonte West and even calling up or signing young guards to collectively fill that position such as Andrew Goudelock and Darius Johnson-Odom.

Brandon Rush has reportedly drawn interest by the Lakers and his outside shooting, youth and athleticism is much desired by the Lakers. However, Golden State is expected to match any offer from another team for Rush. Therefore, a sign-and-trade seems like the only option to acquire Rush, but it appears to be a slim chance.

Delonte West could be a risky pick-up, but he could be signed for a veteran’s minimum contract. Additionally, West averaged 9.6 points per game and 3.6 assists on .461 field goal shooting and .355 shooting from the three.

Andrew Goudelock struggled during the Summer League, averaging 9.8 points per game on 31.6 percent shooting from the field and 23.8 percent three-point shooting. Goudelock started off the first-half of last season as a surprise three-point shooter, but quickly faded in productivity and eventually his minutes faded as well.

Darius Johnson-Odom is an undersized guard at 6’2″, but he has strength to compensate for this. Last year he shot for 45 percent from the field, while shooting 39 percent from the three-point line at Marquette. However, he did not meet expectations during the Summer League, averaging 3.8 points per game on 23.1 percent shooting and 14.3 percent three-point shooting.

While developing the Lakers young talent is essential and necessary for the Lakers, the progress of these young players is not quite there yet. Therefore, the Lakers will most likely chose to add a veteran to continue to improve their bench, primarily a shooting guard for the second unit. The Lakers must do this to continue competing with the league’s elite and to raise their chances at a title next season.

  • honestly

    waive blake and sign barbosa or shannon brown… shit we got like 3 young PGs now

    • ArealisticLALfan

       Shannon Brown resigned with the Suns.

  • Aaron

    Josh McRoberts(expiring)/Andrew Goudelock(cheap/young) and a 1st rounder for Brandon Rush!!

    Obviously in a perfect world, I would love Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes as my backups at the 2-3 for the Lakers, but this isn’t NBA 2K12, and sadly, we have to come back to reality.

  • Tomk777

    Christian Eyenga was the Laker that has done the most in the off season to improve his game, and looked the best in summer league play. At 6’6″ he can easily play shooting guard, he has hops every bit as good as Shannon Brown. Give him a shot.

  • Leo Williams

    How come no one has mentioned Randy Foye he played well for the Clippers last year and is the best 3point shooter available I think lol.Lakers4Life

    • shasans30

      utah jazz just signed randy foye

  • Leo Williams

    And Randy Foye can play backup shooting guard and backup point guard.Lakers4life

  • Corey_zahn34

    I think we would stay with what he have!! 

  • Benjaminpina1

    i say martell webster, randy foye, brandon rush and thats it….i wuldnt sign gilbert…id rather sign jermaine oniel than arenas cause he actually can still play and arenas has to prove that he can..

    • Davidlee722

      I agree with Martell Webster and Brandon Rush. Not randy foye, foye is good but he is only 6’4 compared to rush 6’6 and martell 6’7. I would say try sign Martell Webster, he can shoot drive and man he can dunk too. If he plays like the way he did for Portland he would be a steal.

  • quootiepatootee

    Leandro Barbosa would do great for LA and can play a little point if need be.

  • Michael Olson

    Jodie Meeks.

  • Marty Susman

    OK, they need a shooting guard, Clay Thompson is who they need… Golden State sends Clay Thompson & David Lee to the Lakers, the Lakers send Pau Gasol & Steve Bake to Golden State… Maybe some cash as well to do the deal…

    • Metetman123

      klay has waaaaayyyyyy to bright of a future to trade for pau….

  • Cris nyandoro


  • Ongsantiago

    Make this 2nd unit  Blake,Rush,Eyenga,Jamison,Hill,athletiscm and offense..

  • Jpucci



    I think we should lean towards attempting to land  Foye. Randy Foye is a dangerous threat from outside and he can get to the rack. Plus, the Clippers betrayed Foye and got Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford, and kept Bledsoe. If Foye signed with the Lakers and got a ring, it would be nice revenge for him. Also, we should either decide to either bring back Ebanks as our backup 3 or Sign Rush as our backup 3. Rush can shoot, defend, and get to the rim. I think that Eyenga is really athletic and all, but I think that he should be on the roster; at the best the third unit. TIP: If I were the Lakers I would also amnesty Blake and promote Morris to the backup point guard. I think that Morris has played to well lately than to still miss the rotation to an incosistent Blake.Also, I would sign Johson- Odom and Robert Sacre. They both bring defnse and energy.

    This is how the banch would look like:
    pg Darius Morris/ Andrew Goudelock
    sg Randy Foye/ Darius Johnson – Odom
    sf Devin Ebanks or Brandon Rush/ Christian Eyenga
    pf Antawn Jamison/ Josh McRoberts
    c Jordan Hill/ Robert Sacre 

    This bench is full of talent and can get the job done. 

    • Damir Markota

      Lakerguy. Godd post, but with some holes.
      First. The amnesty period has ended and no NBA team can use it till next year.
      Second: I am 100% agree with you about Randy Foye and Brandon Rush, but how exactly we can get them? That is the main question here!
      Do you think Randy Foye will accept to play for us for $ 3.0 mil. That is what we have  and it is called the “mini” midlevel.Yes, we can trade McRoberts and Goudelock to the Warriors for Brandon Rush. That will be a very good move, but are they going to do it?They hate L.A. and I doubt they will give us a player we need. But, Jerry West is there and Mitch Kupchak is his best friend and confidante. Hopefully, they can make that deal.
      Third:We can not rely on anyone of our rookies at this moment. Not in the rotation. D.Morris, D.J.-Odom, A.Goudelock, D.Ebanks and Sacre all have had a very, very disappointing summer league appearance. There is no question that St.Blake is inefective and has to be traded. But Darius Morris got his chances to play last season and he did not performed as expected. The same apply to Goudelock and Ebanks. They all have had a chance. We need to find a good back-up PG for St.Nash, so he can get about 10-15 minutes of rest every night.That is why, my choice is Leandro Barbosa, who is combo guard and can back-up both, Nash and Kobe.

  • Austin Bredesen

    Marshon Brooks


    Adding to my early comment, forget about adding Foye, he signed with the Jazz, instead I think we should trade for Anthony Morrow, he is a PURE shooter. HE is automatic when he gets into his groove.Plus, even though the Hawks got really deep with shooters, all of them demand time such as Jenkins, Korver, Stevenson, Morrow, Lou Williams. Also, they all are too good than to come off the third unit. If we get Morrow the trade scenario would look like this:
    Lakers Recieve: Anthony Morrow
    Hawks Recieve: Josh McRoberts and Jason Kapono trade exception 

    Benefits for Hawks: This would let the Hawks get a solid big man in Josh McRoberts and it allows them to save money in the future. This also allows the Hawks to play all the shooters.

    Benefits for the Lakers: This would give the Lakers an excellent shooter off the bench. The Lakers would finally have a guy again who can shoot the lights out when hot. Steve Blake sometimes did this, but Morrow would do this more on a night to night basis.

    Another Mandatory move:
    Three Team Trade:
    Lakers Recieve: Brandon Rush
    Warriors Recieve : Cash Considrations and draft picks
    Cavaliers Recieve: Steve Blake, and Matt Barnes

    Reason- Like the Hawks, The Warriors at the small forward spot have a lot of depth, but a little to much depth were Brandon Rush, Harrison Barnes, and Richard Jefferson are battling for minutes plus the Warriors added combo guard Jarret Jack who can successfully play the 2. I don’t think so. Plus, this trade allows the Warriors to be prepared for a bright future with draft picks as well.On the Lakers side of view, the Lakers get the guy that they wanted all along. A guy who can shoot, slash, defend, brings energy, and is athletic. If the Lakers can pull these moves, they have a great chance to make it to the Finals and win the championship.

    Here is a view of the bench:
    pg Darius Morris/ Andrew Goudelock
    sg Anthony Morrow/ Darius Johnson- Odom
    sf Brandon Rush/ Christian Eyenga
    pf Antawn Jamison/ Devin Ebanks( really a sf)
    c Jordan Hill/ Robert Sacre

    • Metetman123

      none of those teams would even get close to biting on those trades. cavs would nevvvver give up their picks for steve blake and matt barnes!!! 
      long and elaborate but no. not gonna happen!

  • Tim

     Sign Carlos Delfino!!!!

  • Issa Dugom

    Barbosa, Meeks, Rush, or Webster. Those are the best options. You might be able to add in Sasha 😉 joke btw lol

  • Bryan Walker

    In order for the Lakers to compete with OKC, the Spurs and even Boston and Miami, they need to get youunger. I believe Eyenga is hungry and can get the job done if he gets an opportunity. He has really been working on his game this summer doing two-a days. I think Lakers should reward him and give him a shot. Because if they don’t, he will come back and bite them in the butt one day. I tell you, kid is going to be a star. Watch and see. He is just 23 years old and has to start somewhere. Don’t need alot of old guys just filling up space. Go with some youth and build on it like OKC.

  • jason

    Raja Bell

  • Richald Caceres

    Get McGrady!

  • champion24

    everyone shut up, get brandon rush. goodbye.