The Los Angeles Lakers have been short on wing-sized players all season, and with news that LeBron James could miss at least the next two games (and potentially longer) with another adductor injury, they will be even more shorthanded in that department.
With that in mind, in addition to working out Moe Harkless last month, the team also recently held workouts with free agents Joe Wieskamp and Tony Snell, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic:
"I’m told the expectation is James will be out the next two Lakers games … The Lakers also (recently) held free-agent workouts with Joe Wieskamp and Tony Snell.”— The Rally (@TheRally) November 11, 2022
NBA Insider @ShamsCharania has the latest on LeBron James’ status and the Lakers. pic.twitter.com/ZmCNqqI9dq
Wieskamp would provide a theoretical shooter, but one that doesn’t have a lot of makes at the NBA level. After shooting 41.2% over three years at Iowa in college, Wieskamp only made 14 of his 43 threes with the San Antonio Spurs last year as a second-round pick before being cut by the team last month. Still, that percentage (32.6%) would still make him the third-best shooter to play more than 60 total minutes on this year’s Lakers team, and so in addition to being 6’6, he does potentially tick a few boxes. Snell, meanwhile, is a nine-year journeyman who has 21 of his 53 3-point attempts in New Orleans last year, and the 6’6 forward has long had a reputation as a solid defender.
So both players would theoretically fill some needs for this team, both with LeBron on the sidelines and when he returns, although obviously neither can do much to replace his shot-creation ability, which is what the Lakers will miss most.
The other complicating factor here is that the Lakers would have to waive Austin Reaves, Wenyen Gabriel or crunch-time hero Matt Ryan’s nonguaranteed deals — or a guaranteed player, but that would cost more — to sign either of these guys to an NBA contract. They could, however, also cut Cole Swider or Scotty Pippen Jr. from their two-way deals and offer one of those to Wieskamp, but Snell has far too much experience to be eligible for such a deal.
Either way, long story short is that the Lakers don’t have a roster spot, so if they do elect to bring in any of these players or another reinforcement, they’d have to make at least one cut to do so.