After trading away Michael Beasley and Ivica Zubac for Mike Muscala at the NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers have an open roster spot. The wide belief is that the final roster spot will be used to sign Carmelo Anthony, but the Lakers are reportedly considering other options like Markieff Morris and most recently Enes Kanter.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers were one of “several serious suitors” for Kanter before he signed with the Portland Trail Blazers. Kanter and the New York Knicks agreed to a buyout on Thursday.
After the trade deadline, Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported that the Lakers were looking for depth at the center position and Kanter was arguably the best center on the market.
Through 44 games this season, Kanter is averaging 14 points per game on 53.6 percent shooting from the field to go along with 10.5 rebounds per game, including 4.4 offensive rebounds per game, the fifth-most in the NBA. The Lakers are ranked 18th in the league in offensive rebounds per game.
However, Kanter is also notoriously bad on the defensive end. According to NBA.com, Kanter is posting the worst defensive rating (113.4) of any center that has played at least 40 games this season. Do you know how many centers have played at least 40 games this season? A lot. 89 to be exact.
With Kanter off the market, expect the Lakers to turn their attention Markieff Morris, who is still considering the Lakers as a destination, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN. The Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors are also in the mix. Morris is expected to make his decision this week.
Whether it’s Morris or Anthony, expect the Lakers to fill out their final roster spot over the All-Star break.