The Los Angeles Lakers have one and perhaps as many as two roster spots still available.
Los Angeles currently has 13 players under contract with the recent additions of second-round selection Ivica Zubac, Jose Calderon, and the re-signing of Marcelo Huertas. Brandon Ingram, the No. 2 overall selection, is still unsigned, though it is just a matter of time before he joins the mix.
The Lakers and Zubac, who was taken with the No. 32 pick, agreed to a three-year deal on July 7. Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders tweeted that the pact is worth $3.2 million, though only the first two years are guaranteed.
Zubac has been impressive during summer league action in Las Vegas. The 7-foot-1 center is averaging 9.0 points, 6.0 rebounds (2.3 offensive), and 2.0 blocked shots while shooting 64.3 percent from the field and 81.8 percent from the charity stripe for a 3-0 Lakers squad. He has scored at least seven points and grabbed five boards in each of the first three contests.
Zubac is not the only Laker having a solid summer league campaign. D’Angelo Russell has looked fabulous, especially shooting the ball, though he has turned the ball over a little too much. Russell, who has scored 20 points in each of the three summer league games, poured in 26 points against the Golden State Warriors in a 78-65 win on July 11. He is currently averaging 22.7 points, 6.7 boards, 4.0 assists, and 5.0 turnovers while shooting 53.3 percent from the floor and 47.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Larry Nance, Jr. and undrafted rookie free agent Zach Auguste has also looked good. Auguste, who played at Notre Dame, is averaging 8.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.0 steal in two games.
In the meanwhile, Ingram has struggled shooting the ball. The 18-year-old, who has been physically overmatched, has made just three of his last 17 shots and is shooting 30.8 percent (8-of-26) from the field overall. He is currently averaging 8.7 points along with 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists.
Anthony Brown has also not had a great summer league. The 23-year-old is averaging just 6.0 points as he is shooting 38.7 percent from the floor and 22.2 percent from beyond the arc. Last season, he averaged 4.0 points and shot 31.0 percent from the floor as well as 28.6 percent from beyond the arc in 29 games for the Lakers.
Brown has a fully guaranteed contract for the upcoming season but is slated to make only $874,634, so his spot on the roster is not a sure thing. He and Nick Young, who the Lakers could trade or use the stretch provision on, will likely battle for the right to be the third small forward behind Luol Deng and Ingram unless the Lakers bring in someone else.
Who could the Lakers fill their roster spots with?
Los Angeles does not have a specific positional need; however, the Lakers could use some veteran leadership.
Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report recently suggested a couple of former Washington Wizards, Drew Gooden and Alan Anderson, as possible candidates for the Lakers.
Gooden, a 14-year veteran, has seen very limited action for a variety of reasons over the past several years. The 34-year-old, who has not played 60 games in a season since 2009-10, averaged 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds over 10.2 minutes in 30 contests last year.
Despite Gooden’s lack of production, Marc J. Spears of ESPN has reported that several teams have expressed interest in the forward.
Anderson is also a solid locker room guy, but he had injury issues last year as well, which limited him to just 13 appearances a season ago. The 33-year-old averaged 5.0 points and 2.1 rebounds, though he only shot 35.6 percent from the floor.
Anderson has several teams interested in him, including the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, and Cleveland Cavaliers – per Darren Wolfson of ESPN. In addition, he remains in the picture for the Wizards according to J. Michael of CSN MidAtlantic.
Moe Harkless has been said to be a target of Los Angeles for the past few weeks. Harkless is an athletic wing and is coming off a pretty good season. The 23-year-old restricted free agent has a $4 million qualifying offer from the Portland Trail Blazers but is reportedly hoping for a better offer from either the Lakers, Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, or Detroit Pistons.
Former Laker Brandon Bass also could be a possibility as could Auguste and Jabari Brown, who is currently on the Lakers summer league squad.
[Photo by David Zalubowski/AP Images]