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Jason Kapono would bolster the Lakers' outside shooting

December 6, 2011 |  2:54 pm

While the Lakers work to land Dwight Howard and/or Chris Paul in a trade, it's encouraging that they have already addressed one of their pressing needs.

NBA teams can't sign free agents until Friday, but The Times' Mike Bresnahan reported the Lakers met with free agent forward Jason Kapono on Monday and were close to a deal for one or two years and about $1.3 million annually. The Lakers shouldn't just be happy because they don't have to use any of the mini mid-level exception worth three years for $9.4 million to get Kapono. They should be happy because they actually found someone to address their woeful outside shooting.

Even though Kapono averaged only 0.7 points and 4.6 minutes last season with Philadelphia, he has averaged 6.9 points and shot 43.7% from three-point range for his career. The long-range shooting mark is better than  the 35% the Lakers shot on three-point attempts last season.

Kapono doesn't offer much other than shooting. But given Metta World Peace's defense, Lamar Odom's versatility and Matt Barnes' aggressiveness, the Lakers hardly need much more from Kapono. They just need him to help stretch the floor so defenses can't pack it in on Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol in the post and easily double-team Kobe Bryant. With possibly improved shooting from Steve Blake, Devin Ebanks and Derek Fisher, a rookie sharp shooter in Andrew Goudelock and signing Kapono, it appears the Lakers will at least mitigate one of last season's biggest weaknesses. 


Lakers can upgrade outside shooting from within

How can the Lakers upgrade at point guard?

Free agent profile

--Mark Medina

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