These days there might as well be a help wanted signs with the Lakers’ logo plastered across billboards in Los Angeles. Even when the Lake Show wins, as they did last night against the Hawks, more questions about the team are raised. Getting more offensive fire power is a major issue in need of immediate addressing. Lamar Odom’s production has not been replaced and the prospects of winning a title with an anemic offense are slim at best.
Lately the Lakers have shown some public interest in acquiring offensive minded players.
Just a couple of days ago a few team officials went to take a looksee at Gilbert Arenas in a private workout. While nothing note worthy came of that audition it does show the Lakers are in the market for scoring upgrades.
Another name making the rounds in the rumor mill is J.R. Smith. Last night Smith himself stirred up a bit of news by Tweeting that he and Mike Brown had a nice conversation. What exactly that means is anybody’s guess. Brown was the first member of the Laker family to confirm there was some interest in Arenas so it seems only natural that he too is the first Laker link to Smith.
For those that aren’t knowing Smith was most recently balling in China. He, like current Clipper Kenyon Martin, was waiting for the Chinese season to end in order to pursue interest back in the States. Consider the Laker interested.
Smith has gained a reputation of being a loose cannon during his time in the league. He also is known for his wild scoring outbursts. When he’s rolling, few players can fill it up like Smith does. He’s got unlimited range, is great off the dribble and can finish at the rim. The Lakers have been on the wrong end of J.R.’s hot streaks so they know how that goes.
They’ve also seen some of immature nature when as a member of the Nuggets his squad was knocked from contention thanks to the Lake Show.
Smith has other suitors as well so the Lakers are far from alone. In fact, the Clippers are said to be among the interested squads. Hmmm…the Clippers poaching a guard the Lakers had interest in…seems like we’ve seen that happen before at some point in time…
Eventually Mitch Kupchak is going to have to do something to get Coach Brown more firepower. Perhaps Brown was just helping to get the ball rolling by reaching out to Smith. No telling how the front office feels about bringing in a player like J.R. but the same applies to Arenas. Either way it is a gamble this tame might have to make. Unless they’re willing to part with either Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol the Lakers have no other means to acquire serious talent at this point in the season other than free agency rolls of the dice.