With Kobe Bryant out for six weeks due a fracture in his left knee, the Los Angeles Lakers are in serious trouble. Pushing thoughts on tanking the season or making monster trades onto the back burner, the Lakers need to find a point guard--fast.
Currently, all three of the Lakers’ point guards are injured: Steve Blake is five weeks away for returning from an elbow injury; Steve Nash is four weeks away from returning from a nerve issue; and Jordan Farmar is at least one week away from returning from a torn hamstring.
Bryant was deputizing as a point guard with the trio out, but his six-week layoff leaves the Lakers with a giant hole in a rather important position. Xavier Henry will take over starting duties until the Lakers make a move.
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The smartest option is to sign Darius Morris, a point guard out of Michigan selected 41st overall by the Lakers during the 2011 NBA draft. Morris featured in 48 games last season, and he even started 17 times for the Lakers. The third-year point guard was recently waived by the Philadelphia 76ers, so he is available.
The benefits to signing Morris include his familiarity with Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni and his work ethic. Morris was considered a strong defender, but he was not altogether known for scoring. In 12 games with the 76ers this season, however, Morris averaged 6.9 points in only 16 minutes of play. Despite averaging a career high 43.3 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from behind the arc, Morris was waived by Philadelphia.
Another name floating around is Kareem Rush, who currently plays for the LA D-Fenders, a D-League team owned by the Los Angeles Lakers. Rush originally played with the Lakers from 2002 to 2004, but Rush would not be the best fit. At 33-years-old, Rush has not played in the NBA since the 2009-10 season, and he was more of a shooting guard than a point guard.
Another available player who fits the mold of former Lakers is Shannon Brown. Similar to Rush, Brown was more of a shooting guard than a point guard, and his ball-handling skills were not up to par.
Other available free agent point guards include Chris Duhon, Leandro Barbosa, Daniel Gibson, Sebastian Telfair and Keyon Dooling.
Of all the available options, Morris would likely be the best fit for the current team. Adding a player may only serve as a towel to cover a cut to the jugular, but adding Morris may buy the Lakers more time.