COMMENTARY | With the Dwightmare looming in Los Angeles, it's refreshing to hear sensible developments when it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers, the latest being the front office's pursuit of Philadelphia 76ers guard Jodie Meeks.
A move for Meeks may be simple and not exactly what Lakers fans are looking for, but it's realistic, smart, and reasonable. The Lakers have been plenty busy this offseason, and all indications are they aren't done. When it comes to greatest team needs, the Lakers must improve their second unit above anything else.
Athleticism, perimeter shooting, and total offensive production are what the reserves struggled with most in 2011-2012. They were last in the league in scoring at 21.3 points per game during the regular season. Meeks would be only a role player, but he will provide key scoring off the bench should the Lakers trade for him.
Another important consideration is that he has the ability to ease the wear and tear on an aging Kobe Bryant.
With the Black Mamba slated to lead Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics this summer, Meeks could spell Bryant and keep him fresh for the postseason run. As a career 37 percent three-point shooter, he could stretch the floor nicely for Steve Nash. Bryant played 38.5 minutes per game last season, and Mike Brown is going to have to cut that number down substantially to get the most out of Bryant.
Meeks wouldn't be a marquee acquisition, but the Lakers don't need one. The more the team focuses on moves that don't involve Dwight Howard, the better off it will be moving forward. Youth and athleticism don't cost a lot in a league filled with budding talent, and that's all the Lakers need in order to be considered a favorite to make a deep playoff run.
Small moves like getting Meeks are what the Lakers are bound to due to their proximity to the luxury tax threshold. It's a matter of convenience that they don't need more than that to be a true title contender.
For the time being, niche players like Meeks would help the Lakers more than anything else, and it should be a welcome sign for fans of the purple and gold that the team is still looking to make trades that don't involve gutting the core of what's turned into a rock solid roster.
Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and covers the Los Angeles Lakers and the NBA. He has written for Southern California's Press-Enterprise and Examiner.com. For more insight, you can follow him on Twitter.