LeBron James continues to defy father time with the Los Angeles Lakers and figures to finish this season as one of the top-two NBA MVP vote-getters. Even though he’s playing as good as ever, he’s still 35 years old and might need help. Throughout the season, he has handled the majority of the work at point guard for the team.
While he’s done an amazing job in the role, the Lakers still tried to bring in help at the trade deadline. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the team tried to make a trade for a former All-Star:
The Lakers still attempted to make trades — for example, sources said, they had discussions with the Detroit Pistons centered on Derrick Rose — and they were active in the buyout market. But James’ open support of the roster signaled a strong deviation from actions past.
Adding Derrick Rose would’ve been a big move for the Lakers to make. He’s excelling off the bench for the Detroit Pistons and is exactly what Los Angeles needs. Unfortunately, it would’ve cost too much to get him and no move was made. Rose is also expected to stick with the Pistons for next season and there’s almost no chance he’ll be bought out this year.
Other Help on the Way?
Rose won’t be wearing purple and gold anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean the Lakers won’t be making any moves. There aren’t strong options at point guard on the market, but the team has been in contact with a couple of playmakers. Two names that have been mentioned quite a bit are J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters.
Coincidentally both men have played with LeBron James in the past and both have very different relationships with the star. By most accounts, it appears LeBron and Smith got along just fine when the two played in Cleveland together. However, his relationship with Waiters wasn’t good. Several years have passed so it’s possible the two would be just fine if they played together, but it could become a problem. Waiters hasn’t always been the most reliable player and that could quickly become a problem. Smith and Waiters have both reportedly worked out for the Lakers so time will tell what the team decides to do.
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LeBron Doesn’t Need Help
Luckily for the Lakers, LeBron may not need too much help this year. He’s already got Anthony Davis and a strong supporting cast. There’s a chance neither Smith or Waiters would have a role on the team come playoff time if signed. That said, it probably couldn’t hurt to add one of them as both players are capable of creating their own offense.
Smith has made some really big shots in his career and while he’s getting up there in age, it’s still possible he could help the team in the clutch. With Waiters, he’s a player who has never lived up to his potential. If he can keep his head on straight, maybe he finally unlocks the potential.