Although the Los Angeles Lakers still sit atop the Western Conference, there are some legitimate concerns they face after dropping a game against the Houston Rockets.
During the 2019-20 NBA trade deadline, the Rockets dealt Clint Capela in an expansive four-team trade that ultimately netted them Robert Covington, a sign that they have fully committed to their small-ball lineup featuring James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Los Angeles’ primary strength during the 2019-20 NBA season has been their size and length in the frontcourt, but it was nullified against Houston as they took advantage of their pristine spacing and hit 19 of their 42 three-point attempts.
The Lakers endured several tough shooting stretches throughout the night as the Rockets did a good job of sending help in the post and forcing Los Angeles to beat them from the outside, which they were unable to do.
“I don’t know. I don’t like talking fantasy basketball, I’ve never been one to talk fantasy basketball. We’ll see what happens but I don’t really too much to comment on that,” James said.
It has been clear for some time now that the Lakers desperately need another ballhandler and shotmaker on the roster to ease the burden off James as backup guards like Alex Caruso and Rajon Rondo have largely struggled to space the floor.
Rondo, in particular, has seen his play drop dramatically as he has had difficulties playing against defenses who sag off him and force him to shoot from outside. He has also played poorly defensively, often being hunted on switches that eventually lead to a breakdown and open shot for the opposing team.
While Collison has not played this season after abruptly retiring after the 2018-19 season, he still would theoretically solve a lot of their issues as he is a capable distributor and knockdown three-point shooter when given clean looks. His presence would shore up a shaky guard rotation and give head coach Frank Vogel more flexibility.
After choosing to stand pat at the trade deadline, adding Collison and perhaps another player on the buyout market are the best course of actions the Lakers can take.