By Jovani Gama |Sports Editor|
Before the beginning of the regular season, for a split moment, Laker fans were beginning to plan their trip to Staple Center for yet another championship parade.
Chris Paul, one of the league’s most coveted point guards, was a Laker. Step one of preparing for the post-Kobe Bryant era was complete, and the Lakers finally had a piece to their puzzle that they had been missing for years.
Suddenly, NBA Commissioner David Stern did the unthinkable and vetoed the trade, forcing Paul to go back to the Hornets, and a disgruntled Lamar Odom to report to the Lakers’ training camp the next day.
Star power forward Pau Gasol was also involved in the trade, but was not as wounded by the Lakers’ desire to trade him as Odom was. With an emotionally hurt Odom threatening to possibly retire, the Lakers felt no other alternative but to trade him to the rival Dallas Mavericks for nearly nothing but a trade exception.
Soon, talks about trading center Andrew Bynum for superstar Dwight Howard commenced.
However, so far this season, Bynum’s play has left many wondering whether or not trading him would be a smart move. He has stayed healthy, and has been a dominant force for his team.
The question is then, if the Lakers decide to not trade for Howard, what should they do in order to improve their team and contend for their 17th title?
Many people agree, myself included, that what the Lakers need is a point guard. Bynum has proven that he is the best center in the game, or at least the most fundamental center, and should remain a Laker.
Fisher, who has provided us with many great moments is old, slow and past the declining stages of his career. While he can still provide offense when called upon, his minutes should be cut and his role should be leading a depleted bench squad.
So who should the Lakers pursue? Deron Williams? Ramon Sessions? Jose Calderon?
Anyone who saw the Lakers’ recent matchup against the Toronto Raptors probably fell in love with Calderon. I know I did. Then again, anyone who knows anything about basketball knows what kind of spark Deron Williams would bring to the Lakers.
A few years ago, Ramon Sessions became the first player to come from the D-League and record a triple-double. This was done against the Lakers. With these three names being tossed around, who should the Lakers go after?
After watching his impressive performance against the Lakers recently, it is hard to argue against Calderon. While Williams is most certainly the better player, the Lakers would have to give up way too much to acquire him, as they would most likely have to give up Pau Gasol and one or two players from the bench.
Calderon is averaging 11.1 points per game, 3.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists. He is a proven shooter, who can control the tempo of the game and make crucial plays in late stages of the game.
While he may not be the best solution for a post-Kobe era, he may be the best solution for the next few years, and could very well be the piece that lifts the Lakers to prominance once again this season.