The Los Angeles Lakers have made a plethora of moves this offseason, and while nearly all the major players on the open market are gone, the team may not be done adjusting the roster.
The Lakers currently have 14 players on their roster after adding Roy Hibbert, Lou Williams, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Bass, Anthony Brown, and Larry Nance Jr. this offseason. Los Angeles, which will get Julius Randle back following his gruesome injury, also has Kobe Bryant, Jabari Brown, Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black, Ryan Kelly, and Robert Sacre on its roster. Black, Clarkson, and Jabari Brown have non-guaranteed contracts.
With the all the moves the Lakers have made this offseason, it was believed that swingman Nick Young could be on the way out of Los Angeles. However, the Los Angeles Daily News’ Mark Medina is reporting that Young will likely start the season with the team.
“Lakers forward Nick Young recently met with general manager Mitch Kupchak, according to league sources familiar with the situation.
“It is not entirely clear what Young and Kupchak addressed in their meeting. It is typical for Kupchak to meet with players to discuss both professional and private issues. But the conversation at least left Young feeling comfortable enough that he will enter the 2015-16 season on the Lakers’ roster, according to a source familiar with his thinking.”
The Lakers reportedly had hoped to trade Young following a dismal 2014-15 campaign, where he averaged 13.4 points and shot a career-low 36.6 percent from the field. Young has three years remaining on his contract.
The Inquisitr most recently reported that the Lakers were looking to include Young in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Brendan Haywood. However, the Cavs traded second-round pick Rakeem Christmas to the Indiana Pacers for a 2019 second-round draft selection that was held by the Los Angeles Lakers.
While Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchack told reporters that the Lakers may look to bring in another guard or possibly another big man, it won’t be Haywood, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.
“The Cavs are considering options to move Haywood before Aug. 1, when the contract becomes guaranteed, and create what would be the largest trade exception currently in the NBA.
“The Portland Trail Blazers and Philadelphia 76ers are the only teams with enough cap space to absorb Haywood and create a trade exception for Cleveland. The Utah Jazz are also close but would have to trade or cut several players with non-guaranteed contracts to do so.”
The Lakers are looking for another center as Hibbert and Sacre are the only two seven-footers on the team. There were rumors that the Lakers signed rookie free agent Robert Upshaw on July 11, but Kupchack has refuted that claim. Kupchack sounded pessimistic that Upshaw will be part of the rotation this year, though he did add that he has ongoing discussions with Upshaw’s agent, Bill Duffy.
“It’s unlikely Robert will contribute next year on this team to win games. If we did something with Robert, it would be based on potential going forward. It’s hard to look at any rookie. We made commitments to some rookies because they got drafted very high. But to look at a guy who wasn’t drafted and say this is the guy who is going to be in your rotation, that’s not realistic at all.”
Besides possibly JaVale McGee, Kevin Seraphin and Ryan Hollins there isn’t another center available for the Lakers to use their $2.8 million room exception. Other centers on the open market include Bernard James, Jerome Jordan, Ognjen Kuzmic, Henry Sims, Greg Stiemsma, Travis Wear, and Jeff Whithey.
The lack of a quality center is perhaps why the Lakers are targeting Andre Miller, according to Sports World Report. Miller, 39, would be an excellent mentor for Russell and Clarkson. He would also contribute leadership along with a few dimes a contest. Miller averaged 4.4 points and 3.5 assists in 15.5 minutes of action per game last year for Sacramento.
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