After losing four in a row in mid-January, the Los Angeles Lakers have rebounded to win five of their last six games. Their recent surge has kept them within striking distance of the playoffs, but still a considerable distance from where they thought they'd be when the season started.
With that being said, the key now for the Lakers is just to get into the playoffs and make some noise. Despite their struggles (and at times dysfunction), no one in the West wants to draw them in any round given the amount of talent that stacks that roster.
However, in order to actually get into the playoffs and make any type of run, some tweaks to the personnel need to be made. Their current salary-cap situation makes it difficult to facilitate any type of major deal, but there are a few under-the-radar moves that L.A. should consider to keep their season afloat.
Trade for Kyle Korver
It would be entirely fitting if the Lakers were able to land Ashton Kutcher's doppelgänger. You can just imagine the promotions that could be run, as well as Korver ultimately making a guest appearance on Two and a Half Men.
Korver would also provide the Lakers with much-needed shooting off the bench. This team lacks a reliable knock-down shooter at the moment, and adding the ninth-year pro out of Creighton would fill that void very quickly. Additionally, his presence on the floor would create a lot more space for the likes of Kobe, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol to operate.
Korver's modest $5 million per year salary also makes him a low-risk addition if he doesn't pan out.
Trade for Nick Young
What's a better story than bringing a hometown kid back to the place where he grew up? If LA could somehow manage to swing a deal to bring Swaggy P himself back to his Southern California roots, they might be better for it.
Young would provide an instant scoring threat off the bench and could have a J.R. Smith-type effect for the Lakers. Yes, his shot selection and basketball I.Q. is sometimes brought into question, but he automatically upgrades an otherwise porous bench unit with his athleticism and ability to score from anywhere on the court.
He's the kind of "Irrational Confidence Guy" that could spell Kobe Bryant whenever he needs a break, and like Korver above, would space the court to make everyone else's life a little bit easier.
Finally, the potential of a play-by-play man having to say "Swaggy P" and "Metta World Peace" in the same broadcast would be worth any amount of money in the world.
Sign Delonte West
This move may scream "red flag" given West's off-the-court issues, but if the Lakers are looking to make an upgrade, West would be just that.
He provides an extra ball handler for Mike D'Antoni as well as someone who can knock down an open trey if needed. Say what you will about his character, but he has been on several playoff teams in his career and has been fairly productive in each of them (posting a playoff career average of 9.1 points per game).
If L.A. was to bring him on, it would only be for less than half the season, which is a significantly lesser risk than if he was signed to start the season. His path to the NBA may have been halted recently due to his reluctance to play in the D-League (via NBC Pro Basketball Talk) but at this point, the move couldn't hurt the Lakers more than they're already hurting.
Unless, of course, he brings more of these type of antics to L.A.