The Los Angeles Lakers found the center they were looking for on the buyout market in Andre Drummond, a two-time All-Star with the best rebound percentage in NBA history. Suffice to say, they could have done a lot worse.
Now the Lakers will turn their attention to their final roster spot, and while all of the rumors surrounding the team at the trade deadline strongly suggested they were in the market for a guard, the latest report from Jovan Buha and Jared Weiss of The Athletic indicates they’re more interested in some help on the wing:
The Lakers are currently at $137.53 million in total salary with about $1.39 million to spare under the hard cap. With the Lakers roster at 14, it meets the league minimum number of players on board. The Lakers are expected to pursue a 3-and-D wing with their final roster spot, per sources.
Our own Sabreena Merchant recently looked at a few “3-and-D” players that could become available in the near future including Otto Porter Jr., who was acquired by the Orlando Magic at the trade deadline, and Danuel House Jr., who’s on the 13-32 Houston Rockets. However, therein lies the problem for the Lakers: there’s no guarantee that those players are bought out by their respective teams, and none of the players that are currently available are worth getting excited about.
For example, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson would be a fine addition to the team at this stage of the season, but he’d provide more on defense than he would on offense — a lot more — and the Lakers need offense more than they need defense with LeBron James and Anthony Davis out. Someone like Hollis-Jefferson could prove himself on a 10-day contract, but similar to Damian Jones, they will be hoping someone better, like Porter Jr. or House Jr. becomes available.