Free agent profile: DeShawn Stevenson
This is the 20th post in a series of profiles analyzing a free agent and how he might fit with the Lakers.
Dallas Mavericks shooting guard DeShawn Stevenson
Type of free agent: Unrestricted
Positives: Let's see. The Lakers need three-point shooting. They need strong defense in the backcourt. And even though the Lakers would love to add youth, championship experience and high basketball IQ always come in handy. The Lakers would receive all of those benefits with Stevenson, 30. He made 13 of 23 from three-point range in the NBA Finals, which partly reflected his 37.8% mark from downtown the entire season. He largely defended LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, using both his on-court intensity and off-court trash talking (specifically at James) to throw them off. And Dallas praised Stevenson's professionalism for bouncing in and out of the starting lineup all season, including his mature handling of Coach Rick Carlisle replacing him with Jose Barea in Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
Negatives: Even though Stevenson has a knack for canning three-pointers, he's not much of a shooter. According to Hoopdata.com, Stevenson proved woeful in nearly all areas on the court besides the perimeter, including at the rim (41.9%), 3-9 feet (33.3%) and 10-15 feet (16.7%). Because of his knack for hitting threes and his 47% mark on shots from 16-23 feet, there are going to be nights Stevenson will light it up. But because he doesn't have a solid mid-range game, defenses will be more in tune with doubling him on the outside.
Verdict: ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon recently noted that Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said the team wants to re-sign Stevenson, but acknowledged that "the price of poker sometimes goes up" for title teams. In addition to Dallas' indication they may not want to pay Stevenson his asking price, the Mavericks also added more depth to the shooting guard spot by trading their Nos. 26 and 57 draft picks to Portland for Rudy Fernandez. So there's a legitimate chance Stevenson could leave, giving other contending teams, such as the Lakers, a good shot at landing him. Sure, the Lakers have their own financial concerns, but Stevenson probably would be worth the price.
Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant collides with Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson on a drive during Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals in Dallas. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 8, 2011