Most of the rumors surrounding the Los Angeles Lakers and their still-open final roster spot have focused on New York Knicks center DeAndre Jordan. But with the Knicks still hanging on to Jordan with less than a week remaining before the playoff-eligibility waiver deadline on March 1, there’s a chance the Lakers might have to settle for a consolation prize. A recent report suggests that veteran power forward Zach Randolph could be a candidate for the Lakers’ last roster spot, considering his current status as an unsigned free agent.
On Friday, USA Today‘s LeBron Wire reported that Randolph was recently spotted at a Los Angeles gym while wearing a Lakers sweatsuit. The sighting was first reported on Twitter by NBA insider Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, who said he received a message from an unnamed former NFL player who claimed to have seen Randolph “right outside the door” of the gym.
Per LeBron Wire, there’s a possibility that Randolph, an 18-year NBA veteran who was a first-round pick in the league’s 2001 draft, was allowed by the Lakers to work out at one of their facilities as part of an open door policy the team could have. The publication noted that this could be a reason why Randolph was wearing Lakers gear but added that there’s also a chance Los Angeles could be considering him for their final roster spot in case the team isn’t able to sign DeAndre Jordan.
Earlier this month, the Lakers reportedly showed some interest in former Knicks center Enes Kanter following his buyout, though as The Inquisitr noted, the Turkish big man instead opted to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers. Although the 37-year-old Randolph is 11 years older than Kanter, LeBron Wire pointed out that he could also provide some much-needed low-post scoring and offensive rebounding if he joins the Lakers.
Rumor: Zach Randolph spotted working out in Los Angeles in Lakers gear https://t.co/WuC1atDxAP
— LeBron Wire (@LeBron_Wire) February 23, 2019
Furthermore, LeBron Wire added that the Lakers might also be trying to prove a point by signing someone other than Carmelo Anthony, who has long been thought of as LeBron James’ preferred player to fill the 15th roster spot.
“A move to acquire Randolph would be one that helps add a veteran presence with playoff experience while also making a show out of who truly has control of the Lakers franchise.”
Zach Randolph hasn’t played an NBA game since the 2017-18 season, where he averaged 14.5 points and 6.7 rebounds in 59 games for the Sacramento Kings, per Basketball-Reference. Earlier this month, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks in a deal that sent Harrison Barnes to the Kings, though he was waived just one day later.