As they continue searching for depth at the center position, the Lakers will reportedly work out former Heat center Meyers Leonard on Friday. That workout would come the same day as the team is set to also work out DeMarcus Cousins.
The Lakers have searched for potential shooting and size, with Leonard and DeMarcus Cousins set for free-agent workouts Friday. At 7-foot-1, Leonard has shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range over his four last seasons.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 12, 2023
Over his career, Leonard has averaged 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game in 16 minutes per contest. In his last four seasons in the league, Leonard shot 43% from the 3-point line on 272 attempts.
He has played nine seasons in the NBA, last appearing for the Heat in January of 2021. As Shams noted, injuries have played a role in him not seeing time on the court over the last two years.
But the elephant in the room, obviously, is the other reason why he has not been in the league. In March of 2021, Leonard used a racial slur on a Twitch stream. Leonard apologized, claimed he did not know what the word meant and has not played in the league since.
Since that incident, Leonard has worked with multiple Jewish organizations away from the court. He has detailed how he immersed himself in a Jewish community for five months after the incident, spent a week at the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center coaching kids in a basketball camp, and seems to have created some genuine bonds with the Jewish community.
For the Lakers, Leonard is the latest in a series of big men that will or have worked out. Along with Leonard and Cousins, the team has also worked out Cody Zeller. With Damian Jones being a complete non-factor even after Anthony Davis’ injury, the Lakers have looked high and low for more depth at the position.