DeMarcus Cousins is reportedly working out for the Los Angeles Lakers next week, but he’s not the only center the team has taken a look at. According to veteran NBA insider Marc Stein, the team worked out Cody Zeller when they were in Charlotte last week to play the Hornets.
It doesn't sound like a signing is imminent, but it does appear that the team wants to look at other potential center options in the wake of how Damian Jones has disappointed this year:
The Lakers, as part of their broad look at available free agents, auditioned big man Cody Zeller in Charlotte last week, league sources say.@ChrisBHaynes reported earlier today that former All-Star DeMarcus Cousins works out for L.A. next week.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 6, 2023
Zeller averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game over 27 appearances for the Portland Trail Blazers last year. The nine-year veteran played the eight prior seasons of his career with the Charlotte Hornets, and Zeller’s teams have been better with him on the floor than off in seven of his nine NBA seasons (including last year). However, he has not played more than 58 games in a season over the last five years due to injury issues.
The Lakers — after signing Sterling Brown to a 10-day contract on Friday — do not currently have an open roster spot, so they would either have to wait to add Zeller (or another player) until they do, or cut a player that is currently on a guaranteed contract in order to free one up. It seems more likely that they’re looking at centers for due diligence purposes if they get bad news on Anthony Davis later this week. That noted, it is also possible they just decide to eat some money or salary dump a player — much like the Celtics did earlier this week — in order to free up a roster spot. Stay tuned.
This breaking news story may be updated with more information and analysis as it continues to develop. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.