The woes of the Lakers' backcourt and bench have been discussed ad nauseam this year, whether it has been Derek Fisher being Derek Fisher, Darius Morris struggling with rookie issues, Andrew Goudelock being overly tentative before Wednesday's game, Jason Kapono being terrible, or Steve Blake's absence causing all of the aforementioned problems. Small wonderment why the Lakers FO really wanted Chris Paul, but let us digress. That the Lakers would seek to rectify this is obvious, and courtesy of Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy, we have one focus of their attention:
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.
Arenas represents an interesting quandary. There is no doubt that he was an unbelievably putrid player for the Magic last year, putting up a 47.1 TS% while continuing to call his number over and over again -- see his 22.7 usage rate, which is more possessions than Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol use per game this year. That noted, you always have to be entranced by someone who is only a year or two removed from being one of the game's most electrifying players. The Lakers need a perimeter creator to complement Kobe in the worst possible way, as well as another player who can operate off the pick-and-roll. Arenas certainly can provide that if he has even a smidgen of his former dominance, but whether he does is an open question. During the summer, he worked with renowned trainer Tim Grover, who helped Tracy McGrady make a resurgence last year, so there is no question in that regard that Arenas is making the best effort possible to do the same.
One way or the other though, Arenas is definitely a low-risk, high-reward proposition, as he would come to L.A. for the minimum, and Kennedy reports that he would be all too happy to do so. At this stage, with no other clear options to upgrade in the backcourt, it probably wouldn't hurt to see if Arenas has anything left in the tank. If the Lakers did sign him, however, they would have to waive a player to make room for him. Rookies Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock are probably safe and Derrick Caracter put up a nice game in the D-League recently; that the team kept him despite his injury shows that they likely are interested in keeping him. The most likely candidate then, barring a Luke Walton buyout, is probably Jason Kapono, who is on a minimum deal and has not played well to put it kindly. We will keep you updated on any new developments.
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