The Los Angeles Lakers have done the extraordinary: They have shown interest in a player that both Sabreena Merchant and I actually like conceptually. This is honestly a momentous occasion.
So, this week on “I Love Basketball,” Sabreena and I started with a discussion about reported Lakers target James Ennis, and what he would bring to the table. Sure, teams can never have enough wing defense, and yes shooting is going to be key given the relative lack of spacing the Lakers’ stars offer, but I came up with arguably the most important aspect of the addition:
A reset on the Lakers and players with the last name of Ennis.
Really, though, this signing would make a ton of sense of the Lakers can pull it off. What remains to be seen is how they would do this given the other teams interested, the role Ennis would play on the Lakers, and the roster construction now given what we know about their intentions heading into the season — remember, the Lakers reportedly want to carry 14 players for a variety of reasons.
Which brings us to the second topic of the show: How the Lakers would handle this signing and the eventual departure of Marc Gasol. This gets tricky given everything at play.
We know the Lakers are tight financially and would rather not have dead money (and the associated taxes). So simply waiving Gasol is probably not their preference. They’re probably trying to trade him for a non-guaranteed contract that they could promptly waive, but at this point, there aren’t many teams lining up to help the Lakers. So at some point, a decision is going to have to be made on Gasol, and whatever that winds up being will likely play a role in how things go with Ennis.
We discussed all this in greater detail and send listeners off with the poll question to end all poll questions.
And for a short-form recap pod, check out Lakers Lowdown, in which Anthony Irwin recaps the previous day’s news and gets you ready for the day ahead in LakerLand, every weekday morning on the Silver Screen & Roll Podcast feed.