After a disappointing second-round exit from this year’s playoffs, many pundits were looking to tweak the Lakers’ roster. The age of veteran point guard Derek Fisher was a concern, and images of J.J. Barea tearing apart the Laker defense still haunt the Lakers’ dreams of a three-peat.
Back-up guards Steve Blake and Shannon Brown did little to help the declining Fisher, and with Brown opting out of his contract, picking up a new point guard is vital to the short-term success of the franchise with Kobe Bryant having three to five years left in his career.
Former Laker players, scouts, and even former Sparks player Lisa Leslie chimed in on what ailed the Lakers this season, with former Laker Robert Horry being flagged down during this week’s ESPY Awards to give his insight on the point guard situation in LA, via Mark Medina at the LA Times:
“I think they need another good point guard. No disrespect to Derek Fisher. Derek is alone. I’ve been there, done that. They need a point guard who can distribute the ball, get everyone in order and not be afraid to tell Kobe no,” Horry said. “You can’t outrun age. I think age has caught up to him. There’s some things he can do, but there are some things he can’t do.”
With the lockout in place, it will be difficult for second-round pick Darius Morris to fill that void, without the ability to work out at team facilities or trainers, participate in the summer leagues or communicate with coaches. Once the lockout is lifted, the Lakers will certainly look to free agency to fill the void left by Brown, possibly with none other than recent NBA champion and unrestricted free agent…J.J Barea.