Los Angeles Lakers: 10 Point Guard Trade Targets to Pair with Kobe Bryant

Tim LewisContributor IJune 13, 2011

Los Angeles Lakers: 10 Point Guard Trade Targets to Pair with Kobe Bryant

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    DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 24:  Raymond Felton #20 of the Denver Nuggets reacts in the fourth quarter against the Boston Celtics during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on February 24, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Celtics 89-75. NOTE TO USE
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Los Angeles Lakers are not exactly suffering from a lack of talent on their roster.  With Kobe Bryant at the 2, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest at the 3, Pau Gasol at the 4, and Andrew Bynum at the 5, you'd be hard pressed to find a team with five players of that caliber.

    So what's missing?  For the first time since 2007, the Lakers were exposed by their lack of a quality point guard in what's quickly becoming a point guard-driven league.  

    If you look at a list of current NBA point guards, you'd have a fairly tough time arguing that Derek Fisher belongs in the top 40.  There are no two ways about it, it's officially an issue.  And in my opinion, it's the most critical issue that needs to be figured out before next season.

    The Lakers need a point guard who, first and foremost, can defend the growing number of elite point guards in the NBA.  They also need said point guard to be able to knock down the three-point shot with consistency, allowing the Lakers to get the proper spacing required to play two big men inside at the same time.  

    Let's take a look at some potential solutions to this suddenly glaring problem.   

10. Daniel Gibson

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Daniel Gibson #1 of the Cleveland Cavaliers competes in the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest apart of NBA All-Star Saturday Night at Staples Center on February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezia
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Gibson is one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA, connecting on 41.8 percent for his career.  In the upcoming NBA draft, the Cavaliers could draft Kyrie Irving with the first pick or Brandon Knight with the fourth pick.  

    With Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions already entrenched as the top two point guards in Cleveland, Gibson should be available via a trade.

    Add in the fact that Gibson played under Mike Brown for four seasons (although he didn't always crack Brown's rotation), and this trade scenario could become reality. 

9. Jerryd Bayless

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    DENVER, CO - MARCH 21:  Jerryd Bayless #5 of the Toronto Raptors controls the ball against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Raptors 123-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Bayless closed the 2011 season extremely strong, averaging 22.5 points per game while starting in seven of the last eight games for the Toronto Raptors.

    With Jose Calderon penciled in as the starting point guard and the possibility of Brandon Knight falling to the Raptors at five in the NBA draft, Bayless could be another potential trade target for the Lakers.

8. Jarrett Jack

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 26:  Jarrett Jack #2 of the New Orleans Hornets drives on Steve Blake #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 26, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Ca
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Jarrett Jack may be a backup point guard in New Orleans, but after watching him play last season, he would easily be the best point guard on the current Lakers roster.  

    The Lakers have a trade exception worth nearly $5.6 million as a result of the Sasha Vujacic trade, and may use it to acquire a point guard of Jack's caliber.  

7. Jonny Flynn

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    OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 14:  Jonny Flynn #10 of the Minnesota Timberwolves in action against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on December 14, 2010 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading a
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    For whatever reason, Jonny Flynn couldn't crack Kurt Rambis' starting rotation last season, and with Ricky Rubio on his way next year, Flynn may become available through a trade.  

    Flynn was selected sixth overall by the Timberwolves in the 2009 draft but hasn't really had an opportunity to showcase his talents in the NBA up to this point.

    If both Luke Ridnour and Rubio remain ahead of Flynn on the depth chart next season, the Lakers may explore a trade with Minnesota

6. Ramon Sessions

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11:  Ramon Sessions #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers throws a pass to J.J. Hickson #21 in the game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Again, if the Cavaliers draft their point guard of the future with either the first or the fourth pick in the draft to pair with Baron Davis, Sessions could be available through a trade.  

    Sessions averaged 13.3 points and 5.2 assists while playing only 26 minutes per game.  What would those numbers look like if he played 35 minutes every night? 

5. Shaun Livingston

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 25:  Shaun Livingston #2 of the Charlotte Bobcats reacts after a play during their game against the Sacramento Kings at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknow
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Livingston played 30 minutes just one time last year and produced 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists.

    After the game, Livingston had this to say: “This was definitely a confidence-booster for us and for me especially. I know I can perform in this league. I just have to go out there and get it done.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/recap?gid=2011021201

    Livingston was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers with the fourth pick of the 2004 draft, but has yet to live up to expectations due to a severe left knee injury in 2007 that nearly ended his career.

    Livingston played a career-high 73 games last season and may be close to returning to 100 percent health for the first time in what seems like forever.  It would be a risky trade for the Lakers, but with a roster already stacked with talent, they can afford to take a calculated risk with the potential for a high reward in return.

4. D.J. Augustin

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - FEBRUARY 14:  D.J. Augustin #14 of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on February 14, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The top four point guards on this list would get the Lakers back to the NBA Finals next year, in my opinion.  D.J. Augustin had a breakout year in his third NBA season, averaging 14.4 points and 6.1 assists per game.  

    The Lakers have worked out a trade with Charlotte in the past (Shannon Brown and Adam Morrison for Vladimir Radmanovic in 2009), and may look to work together again in the future.

3. Devin Harris

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    CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 12: Devin Harris #5 of the Utah Jazz drives against Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on March 12, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Jazz 118-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and ag
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    With the third pick in the NBA draft, the Jazz could wind up with Kyrie Irving if Enes Kanter and Derrick Williams are drafted first and second, respectively.

    The Lakers organization should really be pulling for this draft scenario to play out because if a player of Devin Harris' caliber can be acquired via trade, the Lakers should do whatever it takes to make that trade happen.  

    When Harris is 100 percent healthy, he is among the elite point guards in the league on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.  The only issue is, can he stay healthy for a full season?

    If you could magically guarantee that he would start 82 games next year, would you trade him for Lamar Odom? 

2. Tony Parker

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    SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 27:  Tony Parker #9 of the San Antionio Spurs drives against Mike Conley #11 of the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2011 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Te
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Long shot?  Yeah, it's definitely a long shot, but the Spurs are going to have to go in a different direction after being exposed by Memphis in the first round of the NBA playoffs.  

    We know how much they like George Hill, but do they like him enough to part ways with Tony Parker? And would they be willing to trade him to their greatest rival?  

    Lamar Odom and Steve Blake for Tony Parker...would you do it?  Hmmmmmmmm...

1. Raymond Felton

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    DENVER, CO - APRIL 25:  Raymond Felton #20 of the Denver Nuggets celebrates late in the fourth quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at the Pepsi Center in
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    My No. 1 target and in my opinion, a real possibility with Ty Lawson firmly in place as the starter next season.  

    Felton would take the Lakers to the next level, plain and simple.  Again, the question is (and I'm starting to sense a recurring theme here), are they better off with Felton at the point and Matt Barnes as the sixth man, or Derek Fisher at the point and Lamar Odom as the sixth man?

    Look, the Lakers likely aren't going to make any of the trades I mentioned, but with Lamar Odom coming off a career season and possessing a fairly attractive contract, he remains the key figure in any deal involving the top three point guards on this list.  

    Do the Lakers need better play from the point guard position?  Absolutely.  Will they be better off with an above-average point guard and without Lamar Odom?  I'm not so sure; Odom gives the Lakers a huge advantage off the bench, especially when Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol are in foul trouble or out with an injury.  

    Quite simply, Odom was the Lakers' most consistent player last season—is that really the guy you want to trade?  I guess we'll find out soon enough...  

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