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Lakers will spend offseason on a point guard hunt

Jun 21, 2010, 10:12 AM EDT

Today, Lakers General Manager Mitch Kuptchak will enjoy the love of the fans during a championship parade.

Tomorrow he will come back to a desk with a few things on it. Like maybe six new players to find for the roster.

Starting with finding a point guard. Sort of.

All the key components of this title will be back for the next few years — Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, Lamar Odom all have long-term deals. Bynum’s name comes up in some trade rumors (Chris Bosh, for example) but those are not likely. The Lakers have $71 million on the books for next year they are not going to be taking on more big contracts.

But they need to do something at point guard. While Derek Fisher came up big in the playoffs, as he always seems to, during the regular season he was a liability to the team on the court. His defense is sub par. He shot 38 percent last year and had a PER of 9.3. He’s really a backup point whose minutes should be kept down until the playoffs. The Lakers want him back, he wants to come back, but he’ll take a pay cut from the $5 million he made this year.

But this past year neither Jordan Farmar nor Shannon Brown stepped up. Farmar’s game is better suited to a more free-flowing style and he is a free agent — he is gone. Farmar has been frustrated trying to fit his game into the triangle, the Lakers have been frustrated because Farmar doesn’t do enough to fit his game into the triangle. This divorce has been a long-time coming.

Shannon Brown could return, but he is going to opt out of the $2.1 million he is due next year and test the market. The Lakers don’t want to pay a ton more than that, but another team might.

What the Lakers need is a point who can knock down open shots and defend. At a good price. Look for them to make a run at guys like Steve Blake or maybe even Eddie House. But they need someone to take 25 minutes a night or more at the point.

The Lakers actually may have as many as six new players on the back end of the roster. Guys like Josh Powell and DJ Mbenga may be gone, replaced by young, inexpensive options. Or maybe a veteran big wanting a ring and willing to play cheap (Kurt Thomas, anyone? Maybe Tim Thomas? Any other Thomases?).

The Lakers have a lot of decisions to make. Tomorrow.

  1. JustAJoe - Jun 21, 2010 at 10:18 AM

    The Lakers have a big payroll.
    But at least they have gotten something for their money, unlike some teams I could mention.

  2. big rik - Jun 21, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    Mr Helin, you must not have played the game and you don’t understand the triangle offense. A true point guard is not part of the set up after the first pass and would actually take away from the way the ball is suppose to move. True, Fish has lost a step on the young point guards he matches up with and his minutes should stay at about 32 max but his value as a leader and clutch player is what keeps him on the floor. He is still the best 1 guard on the team and the team won the trophy. He fights thru screens as well as any guard in the league and if the Laker bigs did a better job on the pick and roll (like thy did in game 7) his D is still above par. Fish is still the best defender in 2 on 1 and 3 on 1 situations. Over 7 stops and or deflections in the playoffs alone in those situations. Check it out and maybe you will reconsider trying to put him on the shelf.

  3. kehn - Jun 21, 2010 at 12:05 PM

    big rik – Kurt ran the Laker blog Forum Blue and Gold for a number of years. I think he understands the Lakers and the triangle offense about as well as anyone not named Tex Winters, Phil Jackson or Kobe Bryant. And all Lakers know well the value of D-Fish, but at age 35 he is going to need someone to shoulder the bulk of the regular season minutes and neither Brown or Farmar is that guy. In addition, the Lakers do not run the triangle all the time and could certainly use a traditional point guard for a change of pace.

  4. Bizzle - Jun 21, 2010 at 12:22 PM


  5. Thug Patrol - Jun 21, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    And Kobe will spend the off season hunting down his next rape victim. Kobe on the prowl!

  6. john miller - Jun 21, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    innocent until proven guilty. kobe was never tried or found guilty of rape by jury of his peers. get over it, the guy is better than MJ.

  7. Drew - Jun 21, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    If the Lakers are looking for an improved defender at the point, why in the world would they sign Eddie House?? First of all, House is more of a natural two-guard scorer who is forced to play the point at times because of his size. Second of all, his defense is nowhere near as good as Fisher’s. It’s House’s defensive liabilities that keep him off the floor a lot of times. How would signing House be a defensive upgrade over Fisher? I don’t get it. Steve Blake, on the other hand, would be a huge signing for the Lakers.

  8. E-ROC - Jun 21, 2010 at 2:39 PM

    Kurt, I think Steve Blake would be the perfect fit for the Lakers. They should be able to sign him to a modest contract, since the Lakers do want to save much money. They’ll need another veteran wing player for the bench.
    Do you think the Lakers could get Collison from the Hornets, if they take on James Posey’s contract?
    In this weeks draft, the Lakers should see if they can find a role player who can contribute now. Maybe a four year college player or a European player. They have been linked to Matt Bouldin, AJ Slaughter, and Tyren Johnson. I like those players. I think they should take a look at Alexey Shved.

  9. The Dude Abides - Jun 21, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Kurt, have you heard anything about the Lakers going after Dorell Wright as their triangle point? We all know Phil loves big point guards, seeing as how 6-6 Ron Harper with his rebuilt knee started at PG for five of Phil’s championship teams between ages 32 and 37. Wright is 6-8 or 6-9, has a greater than 7-foot wingspan, shot 39% from three and 88% from the line, played SF, SG, and PG for Miami, and is only 24. The fact that he played point for Miami some of the time means that he has at least some ballhandling ability. The Lakers could sign him for half the MLE, possibly cheaper than any of the alternatives you named. How would a perimeter defense featuring Kobe, Ron, and Wright look to opponents?

  10. Craig W. - Jun 21, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    The Lakers are very unlikely to use their MLE this year, due to financial constraints. Therefore, people like Collison or Posey are not likely to be on the front office radar.
    Your comment that they should be looking at a 4yr college or European player is very astute. Actually, I think they should look at D’Shaun Butler with the 58th pick. A four year player coming off an injury that kept him out of the first round. A risk, but the upside is tremendous and he could help out next year with Shannon gone.

  11. Avery Jackson - Jun 21, 2010 at 9:58 PM

    1) Shannon Brown has already said he is comming back to the Lakers and the Lakers want him Back
    2) this talk of Farmar leaving is just talk Farmar may not leave to test the waters because now is his time to be the laker Point guard sounds to me we have to waite and see on July 1st were everybody stands because if the lakers dont make a move they can still win the dam thing again anyway !

  12. E-ROC - Jun 22, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    Craig, the Lakers would be trading for James Posey and Darren Collison. The Hornets are looking to unload some contracts, and dangling Collison to entice somebody to on a long-term deal like Okafor and Posey. I wonder what it would take for the Lakers to get that done.

  13. brian Michaels - Jun 22, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    Collison would be a coup. He isnt a free agent and makes little money. New Orleans knows what they have in Collison who is probably the next Rondo. Maybe better. Im hearing New Orleans may shop……Chris Paul. Not Collison. Blake makes most sense.

  14. brian Michaels - Jun 22, 2010 at 5:21 AM

    This deal would work but New Orleans would never.
    Okafor or West/Collison
    This doesnt help NO’s bottom line and I dont love Okafors game. But I love me some Collison. Him in the backcourt with Kobe? Forget about it.

  15. Dan - Jun 22, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Can we please stop the idea that Kobe is better than MJ. There isn’t a single justification for that, MJ has more rings, won them without 3 starting 7 footers (and Odom would be starting anywhere else). MJ did it with an entirely different set of rules that basically allowed players to get clotheslined on the way to the basket and a multitude of other defensive moves that would draw a foul today (hand checking anyone?) So MJ has more rings did it with less help (Pipppen and Rodman were awesome but thats about it)and he did it when defenses could get away with much more (e.g watch any Bulls vs Pistons or Knicks game)so how is Kobe better mr. miller?

  16. Omnius - Jun 22, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    I hope the Lakers do get rid of Farmar to find a better point gaurd that can be the starter and allow Fisher to come off the bench with Odom. I’d like to see Deron Williams of the Jazz come to LA to team up with his buddy Fisher. I hope Shannon Brown stays as he really adds some electricity to the club.

  17. the REAL Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 22, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    I love PHIL!!!!!
    I am better than all of you!!!!!
    I am talking to YOU Foul Dwimmerlaik! Ha ha. Just as I thought, you were hoping to take over my world! Never! I rule you and every other little pissant on this board. Little boys!
    I speak to myself a lot on here, so don’t mind me.

  18. DCLAKERFAN - Jun 22, 2010 at 11:26 AM


  19. dclakerfan - Jun 22, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    I think the Lakers need a 3rd 20 point scorer . Artest can be that but it would take some from his tenacious defense. Stephen Jackson would take a pay cut to win a championship plus he can also play D. Keep Fish in a reduced role during the season so he can be fresh for the playoffs, let Morrison and Benga find their role elsewere. Maybe trade Powell(who I like) for a future draft(pg in training}.3PEAT is happening. LAKERNATION CELEBRATION!!!

  20. Foul Dwimmerlaik - Jun 22, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    Ha ha ha ha. I have caught you/me again! You think you can school me???? No. Every little boy posting on this board knows that I am me and that you are me and we are me and I am all together. Don’t make me mad! I will tell my mom on you!
    Ha ha ha ha ha! Schooled you again!

  21. gabe - Jun 23, 2010 at 1:55 AM

    he’s gone man. he wants to be the man on a team and thinks the lakers’ triangle doesn’t suit his talents; he also wants to start and wants more minutes. he will get none of those things playing for the lakers. im from la and am a die hard laker fan but i hate farmar. he is not clutch, turns the ball over too much, misses wide open shots, plays horrible D, and thinks he’s way better than he is. he’s a jerk in real life too. they will let him go to another team and some stupid team that is willing to take a flyer on him who needs a point guard will foolishly overpay for him and then regret it for the duration of the contract after he’s exposed for the arrogant loser he is. good riddance. get the hell out of la jordan!!!

  22. D@v!D - Jun 25, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    Steve Blake would be the perfect fit for the defending champs. He has always been a good role player, and plus he knows the Lakers real well, since he did used to battle it out with us when he played for the Nuggets. I also think Raja Bell would be great for us coming off the bench, he is a proven 3 point shooter, and his defense is right us there with Artest and Kobe, plus he is a free agent looking for a team that can contend for a title. Yeah he had a lil incident with Kobe a few year back, but both men say they are over it and they respect eachothers game. The Lake Show should really think about it, and if they do, I smell a 3 peat. Go Lakers!!!

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