It didn’t take long for Troy Daniels to land on his feet after getting released by the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the veteran guard is staying in the Western Conference, but will now be playing for the Denver Nuggets.
Daniels is a strong shooter, but a liability on defense. His role had almost completely diminished with the Lakers, so it looks like he angled for a release from the team. The Nuggets are currently third in the Western Conference behind the Lakers and the Clippers. They figure to be one of the top contenders to get to the NBA Finals come playoff time. Daniels should bring some offense to their bench.
Lakers Explained Why They Let Daniels Go
Daniels was only averaging around 11 minutes per game this season, so he wasn’t necessarily a corps member of the team. When the Lakers announced the decision to let him go, it was thought that another move was about to happen, but the team has yet to fill Daniels’ spot yet. This led head coach Frank Vogel to explain why he was let go.
“We do not have another move imminent,” Vogel said. “We wanted to maintain the flexibility to add a player if we need one, if we have a particular injury to a position. And if we were going to do something and cross that road at some point, and we had to use Troy’s roster spot, Troy would be left out in the cold. We wanted to do the right thing by the player and also give ourselves some flexibility if we wanted to make a move in the future.”
Daniels clearly became the odd man out if the Lakers were to add a player. While the team hasn’t made a move, it’s very likely that a signing is made prior to the playoffs.
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Who Will Replace Daniels?
The Lakers reportedly in “no rush” to fill the open spot on the roster. Both Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith have apparently worked out with the team, but it remains to be seen if they like either of them. At this point, Waiters seems to have the edge because he’s younger and has more recently played in an NBA game. Smith has been out of the league since last season and only played 11 games that year.
Either Waiters or Smith are the likely favorites to get the last open roster spot on the Lakers, but there are some other names to keep an eye on. They reportedly looked into Tyler Johnson recently, but there hasn’t been any word on if they like him enough to sign him. The possibility still remains that the Lakers like him and bring him in. Jamal Crawford has also been mentioned by a number of pundits but he’ll be 40 by the end of this month and hasn’t played this season. Regardless of who the team decides on, it appears they’re going after a guy who can bring some scoring to the bench.