Rumors have been flying around the media world regarding how to “fix” the Lakers, primarily at the point guard position. I have lost count of how many articles I have written since last summer concerning who the Lakers could or should trade, sign or develop to relieve this problem. It is more frustrating than surprising for me and the rest of Lakers Nation that general manager Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss haven’t pulled the trigger on some move, or any move.
Despite a lockout in the summer and fall that prevented any personnel changes or additions to the roster and the regular season not passing its two-month mark yet, it somehow feels like we should be approaching the post-season. The reason for this certainly isn’t basketball, because like the rest of Lakers Nation, basketball season is the best part of the year. Therefore, I believe the reason for this is because we are tired of trying to figure out what moves will be made and when it will happen.
So, whether it is the rapid decline of fan favorite Derek Fisher or shocking rumors of signing former NBA All-Star Allen Iverson, the talk surrounding the Lakers’ point guard position has been endless. There have been many “solutions” offered that would either solve the problem for the long-term or would act as a bandage to ease the problem until the off-season.
As the Los Angeles Times’ Mark Medina writes, “the Lakers sure could use Dwight Howard or Deron Williams, but that remains unclear whether either deal would actually happen.” ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard reports the Lakers are pursuing Cleveland guard Ramon Sessions and Houston guard Jonny Flynn, but that may require more than the team’s $8.9-million trade exception. That leaves the Lakers with Arenas, who could sign with the Lakers at the veteran’s minimum considered he’s sparked little interest since the Orlando Magic waived him in December via the amnesty clause.
Gilbert Arenas is not a true solution to the point guard problem for the Lakers. However, he is a low-risk temporary band-aid solution that I mentioned above. With rumors going around that Mitch Kupchak is only mildly interested in signing Arenas, this only proves that this is a silver-bullet fix that may or may not work. It would be low-risk for the team to sign Arenas because they would be able to save the trade exception and future draft picks that are alluring for other teams for the possibility of acquiring long-term acquisitions like Deron Williams or Dwight Howard.
Some Laker fans are apprehensive about acquiring Arenas due to his controversial behavior in the past, especially in the locker room. There is a report from Fox Sport’s Joe McDonnell saying that an anonymous Laker player stated that Metta World Peace’s behavior is causing problems for the team and some players want him gone. World Peace quickly took to Twitter to deny this report saying, “Don’t believe the media. Lakers are fine. Me and coach have great relationship. Once we get use to each other –(wins on wins on wins).” Some think that team chemistry is too crucial for Arenas’ past behavior to risk.
Even though Steve Blake hasn’t been in the starting lineup, he has seen his minutes increase since his return last Thursday against Boston. Blake has taken over for Fisher as the closing point guard in the fourth quarter, while Fisher remains on the bench for most of the last quarter. Three of the last four games have really spotlighted the point guard issue since the Lakers faced Rajon Rondo, Jeremy Lin and Jose Calderon, who all had great performances. Arenas has the potential to extend the Lakers’ depth and help Kobe in the backcourt.
With the NBA continuing to turn into a point guard emphasized league and with the triangle offense no longer used in L.A., the point guard problem currently facing the Lakers will continue to grow. Laker fans and basketball fans have become accustomed to the Lakers’ front office pulling off necessary moves that makes them competitive year in and year out. Waiting for a move is testing Lakers Nation patience. Just remember, the trade deadline is one month away. Hopefully, we will have some answers by then.