Lakers work out Gilbert Arenas

ESPNLA.com's Dave McMenamin has the news:

"While the Los Angeles Lakers were in Toronto on Sunday finishing off their six-game road trip, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was holding a private workout for free agent guard Gilbert Arenas, according to multiple sources. Arenas, who turned 30 last month, looked "slimmed down" and "explosive," according to a source with knowledge of the workout, but no signing is necessarily imminent as the guard flew back to his home in Orlando, Fla., from Los Angeles on Sunday night."

A couple weeks ago, as conversation surrounding Arenas increased, I laid out some of the reasons I wasn't wild about adding him to the roster, ranging from doubts about his health to the time and effort it would require to integrate him into the offense.

And I wonder how good Arenas will actually be, given his awful performance last season.

On the other hand, the Lakers obviously need help, something no less apparent in the seven games between that post and this one. This roster, despite a couple solid wins on the trip, isn't good enough to advance deep into the postseason and signs of real growth are tough to find. Arenas, at least in theory, ticks a few boxes on the need list, namely another guy who can create off the dribble, more perimeter shooting, and a secondary source of offense off the bench. The big caveat to my initial post centered around what else the Lakers might do heading into the deadline to improve this year's team.

If the Lakers have a real desire to upgrade now and a willingness to use resources (however limited) to get it done, experimenting with Gilbert doesn't make much sense. If they don't, it's worth trying to capture lightning in a bottle. My feel, and it's just that, is the Lakers are holding all their chips until Dwight Howard has a new home, meaning if the price for less-than-star-level-but-wholly-useful guys like Ramon Sessions gets too high, Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss won't bite.

The interesting thing about Arenas isn't so much how well he'll play, but what he represents. Should the former Agent Zero land in El Segundo, it could very well mean the front office is just crossing its fingers on the 2011-12 season and will try to reconstruct a more viable contender in the more structured environment of the summer.