Jan 28, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT
How serious are the Lakers point guard concerns?
If you think Gilbert Arenas can help solve them, pretty serious.
The Lakers have struggled at that spot as they need a more traditional point as they move from the triangle offense to Mike Brown’s sets, and so they are looking at their options. And Arenas is one of them, reports Alex Kennedy at Hoopsworld.
The Los Angeles Lakers have expressed interest in Gilbert Arenas, according to sources close to the situation. The 30-year-old is an unrestricted free agent after being amnestied by the Orlando Magic last month. No signing is imminent, but the Lakers have reached out to the veteran point guard.
League sources say that Arenas would love to join the Lakers. He grew up in Los Angeles and is interested in playing for his hometown team. He believes that he can contribute in Los Angeles’ backcourt, which currently features an aging Derek Fisher, injured Steve Blake and inexperienced Darius Morris.
Arenas played better than expected at the start of last season in Washington but his 8.2 PER after being traded to Orlando would have younger players in the D-League. He’s not old (30) but has the knees of a retiree and had some issues with them last season in Orlando. Maybe the rest from not playing and some reported weight loss can change that, but if this gets serious Lakers doctors should take a long look at him. On the up side, Arenas was not an off the court distraction last season.
The bigger question is does he really solve the Lakers problems at the point? One of the key things hurting the Lakers offense is spacing because they lack shooters (allowing teams to pack the paint, collapsing on Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, plus cutting off driving lanes for Kobe Bryant). As a team the Lakers are shooting 27 percent from three this season, and that’s a number that has gone up over the last week.
Arenas is not a great shooter. Last season he shot 29.7 percent on threes and in Washington before he was traded he took five long two pointers a game (via Hoopdata). While Arenas hit a reasonable 42 percent of those shots, that is not really the shot the Lakers need more of (Kobe is taking 9.5 shots from 16-23 feet a game already).
Apparently the Lakers are at least having some level of conversation with Arenas. We’ll see if it ammounts to much. But the fact it is going on says more about the Lakers than Arenas.