The Los Angeles Clippers' early struggles against the Dallas Mavericks have exposed a glaring hole in the backcourt, which in turn harkens back to a missed trade opportunity at the March deadline.

Los Angeles reportedly “pondered” a move for Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry, but were turned off by potential salary-cap issues. Indeed, Lowry's $30.5 million salary was a significant hurdle for many teams, as was the Clippers' asking price.

Rather than maneuvering to pull off a blockbuster, the Clippers pivoted by trading Lou Williams to the Atlanta Hawks as part of a deal for Rajon Rondo.

On the surface, Rondo seemed to give the Clippers the kind of playmaking guard they needed. However, as the Mavs series has shown, L.A. still lacks quality at the point guard spot even with Rondo in the rotation.

So, why would Lowry have been such a big upgrade? Let's break it down.

One of his best offensive seasons

For starters, Lowry had one of the stronger offensive seasons of his career.

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The six-time All-Star averaged 17.2 points, 7.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds in 46 games, shooting close to 40 percent from beyond the arc on 7.2 attempts per game. His 59.3 true shooting percentage was the third-best mark of his career.

Lowry was capable of getting off his shot in a variety of ways. He can spot up from beyond the arc or break defenders down off the dribble and make plays at the rack.

Despite being a smaller point guard, Lowry's physical frame allows him to absorb contact and get into the paint for drive-and-kicks, making him every bit as dangerous as a facilitator and overall creator.

The Clippers desperately need that kind of presence in their offense right now. Rondo is every bit as good at getting to the rim especially in pick-and-roll, but he struggles to finish around the basket and is hesitant to look for his own offense. Patrick Beverley also tends to be passive on the offensive end. Reggie Jackson can get hot, but is not always as savvy in terms of shot selection and making the proper basketball play.

Part of L.A.'s pre-deadline needs seemed to be backcourt guys who could take the ball off Kawhi Leonard and Paul George and create their own shot in addition to still fitting within the Clippers' offense. Lowry might have been the ideal fit in this regard as a guy who can stay on the ball or cede to the stars and make himself available as a spot-up shooter.

Defensive toughness

Nobody is questioning Patrick Beverley's reputation as a defender. Rondo has a similar reputation. But neither of those guys have the physicality to disrupt Luka Doncic at that end of the floor.

Doncic is a problem for any defense, but the Clippers seem especially befuddled by how to handle him. The simplest solution would seem to be sticking Kawhi Leonard on him, though L.A. has shown reservations about how that matchup could impact “The Claw” offensively.

Reggie Jackson certainly isn't the solution. He and Ivica Zubac have routinely gotten lost in screen-and-rolls, with the Clippers' tendency to switch really haunting them.

Now, Lowry hardly possesses great height. Again, though, he has the bigger physical frame to get into the body and harass ball-handlers.

Consider this: Doncic was 4-for-11 from the field in a Jan. 18 loss at Toronto. Lowry and Fred VanVleet harassed him all night, forcing him into help defense and denying him the ball whenever possible.

That's a very small sample size, but it's perhaps an indicator of a stylistic advantage someone such as Lowry would have over L.A.'s current guards in terms of the physicality and doggedness he brings to the table.

Even if Lowry wasn't the solution, his scoring ability might have made the Clippers a little less concerned about giving Leonard more time on Doncic.

Clippers' big picture

In totality, the Clippers might be able to negate the issues at the point guard spot.

Maybe the answer is Rondo simply playing more, or finally giving Luke Kennard minutes and seeing what he can do as a combo guard. What about mixing and matching with different bigs? Serge Ibaka's lack of minutes is puzzling.

All told though Doncic is impacting how L.A. operates on both ends. That might not be such an issue were Lowry on this Clippers team.