When Will The Lakers Get The Point?
I mean no disrespect to Ramon Sessions, as his addition to the team added an element Laker fans hadn’t seen in over a decade (speed at the PG), but the Los Angeles Lakers must find an answer at the position. I’ve written about this often, and even discussed it at length with EJ of the Earnest Christian Podcast, but the days of Kobe Bryant simply carrying a team on his back game after game, round after round, are gone. That isn’t to say he can no long be an elite player, heading into his 17th season. That just means it is an act of futility to have a player average 38.5 minutes per game when he’s already got 55,000 minutes (miles) on his body. Lakers management must not only find a viable scoring threat to spell Bryant off the bench, but they must also figure out a way to obtain an elite level point guard in order to contend with the plethora of top-notch guards across the league.
I appreciate the benefits of having 14 feet of gifted height as much as anyone else, but if the parts simply no longer match the system, why continue attempting to hold on to a formula that is no longer working? When you consider the financial difficulties the recently signed CBA will impose, Lakers management is faced with the challenge of re-tooling a decimated roster in order to maintain the championship hunger of LakersNation all while being fiscally responsible in a league of ballooning salaries, entitled/spoiled athletes, and opposing GM’s literally gunning for them. There have been plenty of rumors about Pau Gasol being the primary trade candidate, and while I would personally prefer that he be the one to stay, we have to discuss the reality. They say, you should never “trade big for small”, but what happens if that smaller player can actually have a larger impact upon the outcome of the game?
Deron Williams has now been rumored to being open to playing and signing with the Lakers in a long-term capacity. While there are plenty of fans willing to debate which point guard is the best in the league, no one is foolish enough to exclude Williams from the discussion. Williams is the perfect blend of strength/size with burst and agility at the point guard position. He can knock down the open jumper, slash into the lane in order to find a teammate, or create a shot for himself. He’s truly a guy, when surrounded by talent (and healthy) that can compete for the league lead in scoring or league lead in assists, depending upon the necessities of the team. Those questioning his inability to lead a team to much playoff success should consider the competition. In Utah, Williams’ Jazz teams can hardly be faulted for losing to the eventual ‘back-to-back’ champion Lakers on their way towards titles…and in terms of his inability to win in New Jersey? Well, let’s just say NO one has been able to do that with any true regularity, hence the pending move to Brooklyn.
Keep in mind, Kobe Bryant has listed Williams as one of the players in the league he not only gets along with, but respects as a competitor. Not to mention, the two of them played pivotal roles in securing the gold medal for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics. I’m not saying the Lakers absolutely must acquire Williams, as there are several other (seemingly) obtainable players in Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, or even a Steve Nash. I just feel as though Williams would be the best fit with Bryant, and the best candidate to lead the Lakers into the future. Unlike other recent additions, Williams is one of those guys that wouldn’t seem to wilt beneath the bright lights of Staples Center.
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Jabari A. Davis
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