Los Angeles Lakers: Former players could be guards they need

Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Trevor Ariza (Photo by Icon Sportswire)
Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, Trevor Ariza (Photo by Icon Sportswire) /

After the huge trade that netted the Los Angeles Lakers the services of Anthony Davis, they need some guards big time. Could some former Lakers fill the void?

The Los Angeles Lakers’ Plan A seems to be trying to create enough cap space to sign a third superstar such as Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, Kawhi Leonard, or Jimmy Butler. It would be awesome to add another premier talent, but they would seriously lack depth with most of their cap space being taken up by LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and someone like Kyrie.

Plan B seems to be signing multiple role players with their remaining cap space. Although the third superstar route sounds more exciting, it’s important to remember the team needs depth. And they need guards.

I recently saw an article that touched on the possibility of D’Angelo Russell coming back to LA. That just seems messy after the break-up the team had with Russell. I was never a big fan of Russell, either, due to his immaturity.

How great would it be to get guys like Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams back to be the backcourt of the new look Lakers? Those two, however, are not attainable right now. There are some others, though.

First, let’s just go one year back. Rajon Rondo was a solid signing last summer, and can still be a starting caliber point guard. He played well last season for the Lakers, and with LeBron AND Davis, he would be feasting on assists and open looks.

Lots of fans are hoping they bring back Alex Caruso, the two-way contract player who performed well above expectations at the end of last season. Rondo at the point with Caruso as a backup could work.

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Second, let’s go way back. Back to when Kobe Bryant was leading the Lakers to their most recent titles.

A very important piece of those championship teams was none other than Trevor Ariza, who can play shooting guard or small forward. If he were signed by the Lakers this summer, he would be the only player on the team who played with Kobe since they let Julius Randle go. He also knocks down 3-pointers, which is a skill the guards will need to have on this roster.

Speaking of Randle, there’s a small possibility of a reunion with the Purple & Gold, but his price tag is probably a bit too high at this point. However, along with Ariza, they would be the only Lakers EVER to be part of both the Kobe Bryant era AND the LeBron James era. That’s a lot of knowledge to soak up from two of the greatest of all time.

Plan A would be super exciting, watching LeBron and Davis play with someone like Kyrie, Kawhi, Kemba Walker, or Jimmy Butler. A Big 3 like that could definitely deliver a championship.

However, Plan B might be a better option. The role players don’t have to be former Lakers, and there are plenty of good guards available in the free agent market that wouldn’t eat up all the cap space, thus leaving a more capable cast of characters surrounding the superstars.

Special mention: Like Rondo, JaVale McGee was a solid signing last summer. Both he and Rondo have expressed interest in returning to the team. Brook Lopez would also be a very solid option as a stretch-5. He should’ve been re-signed last summer anyway. Even Magic Johnson admitted it was a mistake not to. Also, DeMarcus Cousins could be a much cheaper third superstar.

But in talking about guards of the non-superstar variety, Rondo and Ariza would be a good start. Here’s a list of some others that would be good for the back-court:

Isaiah Thomas (played for Lakers shortly)
Iman Shumpert
Terry Rozier
Derrick Rose
Bring back the air guitar? Lance Stephenson
Elfrid Payton
David Nwaba, our old G League feel-good story from a few years ago
Danny Green
Seth Curry
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (been with Lakers past 2 years)
Reggie Bullock (acquired by Lakers before 2019 trade deadline)
Patrick Beverley
Jose Calderon (was a Laker 2 seasons ago)

Next. 10 Greatest Free Agent Signings In Franchise History. dark

Would you like to see some familiar faces in the Purple & Gold, like guys who won with Kobe? Let us know in the comments below!