Staff Writer: Ryan Ward
Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers starting dominating the NBA in the beginning of the 21st century, the team has seen few starting point guards that can compete with the likes of future hall of famer Derek Fisher.
Throughout his NBA career, Fisher’s numbers haven’t been eye popping like say Chris Paul or Steve Nash, but with four NBA titles to his credit he has arguably been one of the most successful point guards in the league in the past decade.
Even though most teams would love to have a Derek Fisher as their floor general and coach on the floor, the veteran point guard is not getting any younger and is really starting to show signs of age as he can no longer guard the quick guards around the league.
Despite Fisher losing step, the Lakers were confident in their backups at the point guard positions in players like Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown. Both of these players are very talented, but not true point guards and that has started to become a glaring problem for the defending NBA champions in their repeat campaign this season.
Obviously Derek Fisher will not be the starter much longer in Los Angeles as age continues to catch up to him, but the question of who will replace him has started to get a lot of attention as many people believe that Brown and Farmar cannot fill the four-time NBA champion’s shoes.
One trade that almost went down before the NBA trade deadline on February 18th this season was the Los Angeles Lakers dealing a package of players to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for defensive minded point guard Kirk Hinrich. This was thought to be a controversial move as Hinrich still had $17 million dollars left on his contract and that is one hell of a gamble to try and improve an already solid backcourt led by Kobe Bryant.
Even though the trade got a lot hype heading the NBA trade deadline, no deal went down and now the Lakers are sorely lacking at the point guard and many people believe they should have made the deal as an insurance policy for the playoffs.
Over the next couple of seasons or so I believe we will see some drastic changes in the Los Angeles Lakers backcourt. Obviously, Kobe Bryant will be around until he decides to retire and after he signed a three-year contract extension he will be in a Lakers uniform until at least the 2013-14 season.
With that being said, the Lakers will most likely start shuffling around players and let bench players like Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic go in the offseason.
For the time being, Shannon Brown will try and fill the void and help back up Derek Fisher, but it is uncertain what GM Mitch Kupchak will do or which players he will go after in the near future. I do believe Vujacic and Farmar are on their way out and I won’t be surprised to see the Lakers involve those two players in a trade to get a solid point guard to lead the team into the future.