Anyone who has seen the 2011-12 edition of the Los Angeles Lakers knows that they are one of the more flawed basketball teams of the top 5 or 6 squads that have TRUE championship aspirations. Although their numbers have improved over the last week or so, the Lakers are still one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the NBA, and their offense as a whole leaves much to be desired, especially in the backcourt.
There have been multiple rumors floating around about the Lakers’ interest in veteran free agent guard, Gilbert Arenas as well Cleveland Cavaliers point guard, Ramon Sessions. But according to Marc Spears from Yahoo! Sports the Lakers may also be looking for more help in the frontcourt:
Kenyon Martin is expected to decide by this weekend which NBA team he’ll join, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks have expressed interest in signing the veteran forward. Martin has been working out in Los Angeles, where he owns a house…If the Lakers don’t sign Martin, they could have interest in adding Rasheed Wallace, who contacted the team several weeks ago, a league source said. Wallace retired after the 2009-10 season, but has told friends he’s interested in returning to the NBA.”
Martin signed a contract with Xinjiang Gyang Hui of the Chinese Basketball Association during the NBA lockout and per the terms of his signing, will not be eligible to play in the NBA until his clubs’ season ends (which could be as late as March if they qualify for the postseason), even though Martin has left the team and is currently living in Southern California. Martin would add a veteran defensive prescence off of the bench but would offer little value on the offensive end, despite his mildly-improved jumpshot. But his hustle, passion and toughness are all qualities that Lakers head coach Mike Brown would undoubtedly covet.
Wallace is a bit of a different story. Though he has not played in the NBA since the Celtics Game 7 loss to the Lakers in the NBA Finals in 2010, Wallace could at the very least provide the Lakers with another player who can stretch the defense from the 3 point line, as well as block shots and grab rebounds adequately. In his final season with the Celtics, Wallace averaged 9 points, 4 rebounds and just under a block per game in just over 22 minutes a night. How effective he would be at the age of 37 and after taking a year-plus off, would be the obvious sticking point to determining whether or not the Lakers take a serious look.
Neither Wallace or Martin would come close to solving all of the Lakers woes. But at this point in time the Lakers would be best served to explore any and all avenues to try to improve their roster.