Los Angeles Lakers: Point Guard is a glaring need in free agency

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Lakers Nation is stoked about the impending arrival of Anthony Davis. But they don’t have a championship team yet, and there is one glaring positional need at this point.

According to reports, the Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans have agreed to a deal that will send Anthony Davis to the 16-time NBA world champs. But before they can make plans for a parade down Figueroa to celebrate their 17th ring, they have some pressing roster needs to address.

Assuming this trade goes down as reported, the hardest part is done. But as the old saying goes, it takes a team to win.

As of now, the Lakers will have only a few notable players under contract: Davis, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, Isaac Bonga and Moritz Wagner. The challenge now is to fill out the rest of the team with quality role players.

Davis, James and Kuzma would make for a formidable frontcourt, which means that the team’s biggest need is the point guard spot.

Some are going to question this, citing the fact that LeBron has always been the primary ball handler for every team he’s ever played on. That’s true, but he’s also 34, going on 35, and many of us are concerned about preserving him so that he will remain healthy and in his prime for as long as possible.

Bringing the ball up-court, dictating the tempo and setting up the offense takes a lot out of you, especially once you’re past your early 30s, and especially when you’ve been to the NBA Finals nine times. LeBron has played 239 playoff games, which is pretty much three additional NBA seasons played at a much higher level of intensity than the regular season.

Whether they sign a legit star like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker, or opt for a more complementary point guard, it would go a long way towards keeping LeBron fresh for the playoffs and possibly adding as much as another season of elite or near-elite play to the back-end of his career.

To be sure, LeBron will still have the ball in his hands a great deal as a playmaker, as he should. But at this point of his career, as much as possible, someone else should be pushing the ball up-court and getting the Lakers into an uptempo game, then setting up their halfcourt offense when they don’t have anything.

If Irving or Walker really want to be in the purple and gold, and the Lakers have enough cap space to accommodate them, then it’s a safe bet it will happen. Otherwise, the Lakers will have up to $32 million of cap space to work with that can be split amongst a point guard and role players who can hit threes consistently and play some defense.

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In addition, the Lakers need to hold on to Alex Caruso, who should be very cheap. If they are really feeling the pinch, they could reach out to Rajon Rondo, who has expressed his interest in remaining with the team, and offer him a role as a backup point guard/unofficial player-coach.