Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Needs J.R. Smith To Contend

The Los Angeles Lakers are just two seasons removed from winning an NBA championship, but when you see them these days, you see a team trying to convince itself it's a title favorite.

The problems are obvious: lack of rhythm offensively, no defense at the point guard position and horrid three-point shooting.

Hey, at least landing J.R. Smith would help in one of these areas.

The Lakers are reportedly one of several teams interested in Smith as he completes his season in China. The New York Knicks appear to have the upper hand with a $2.5 million mini mid-level exception to offer.

I've already touched on why trading Pau Gasol for someone like Rajon Rondo or Kyle Lowry would be a bad idea. In short, the lack of rebounding would be so glaring with Gasol gone that it wouldn't be much of a gain.

However, if the Lakers don't trade Gasol, they get to choose between players such as Gilbert Arenas, Ramon Sessions and Jonny Flynn. Oh, joy.

Given both scenarios aren't going to make the Lakers a much better team, it wouldn't hurt to at least address their three-point shooting. The Lakers are shooting an NBA-worst 28.6 percent from downtown. Matt Barnes and Metta World Peace, the Lakers' "top" two small forwards, are shooting 21.6 percent and 17.0 percent respectively from three-point land.

In that regard, Smith could be used as a small forward alongside Kobe Bryant. Smith is a notoriously good shooter from long range, converting at a 37 percent clip for his career. Also, as an athletic 26-year-old, he gives the Lakers some youth on the fast break.

But that's just the half of it.

According to John Hollinger of ESPN, it's expected for the Lakers to use their amnesty clause on World Peace next season, which would save them approximately $7 million.

Plus, Barnes is a free agent in the summer so there's a chance the Lakers could lose him after this season.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Lakers