Training camp starts up next week for the Los Angeles Lakers and they still have some roster spots open to fill. The team is looking to keep at least one spot open for flexibility purposes during the season, per Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Los Angeles has two guaranteed roster spots left so they can sign a player and still keep that flexibility. At this point, it appears that the team may try out some players in training camp before filling one of those two spots.
Veteran guard Darren Collison has been a common name linked to the Lakers. He’s currently retired but is only 34-years-old and has been seen working out with the team recently. According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Collison is hoping to get invited to Lakers training camp:
Collison would be a bigger swing but a blinder bet. He hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2019 and is 34 … Those in the gym when Collison visited said he looked solid — in basketball playing shape and showing flashes of his former self in a pickup setting.
But nobody, in that brief of a glimpse, was comfortable predicting whether Collison would be anywhere near the player who averaged 11.2 points and 6.0 assists as a starting point guard on a Pacers team that made the 2019 playoffs … But if he is (or even if he isn’t), would he be willing to take a prove-it non-guaranteed camp invite? There’s also buzz he might be eyeing a Lakers camp invite.
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Collison Makes Sense With Lakers
This close to the season, there aren’t many big names available to the Lakers. Collison would be one of the most notable players available if he decided to come out of retirement. With the roster mainly set, it could be a good move to bring in Collison.
He’s from Los Angeles and played college ball with Russell Westbrook at UCLA. The Lakers don’t really need another point guard with Kendrick Nunn and Rajon Rondo on the roster but these last roster spots wouldn’t likely play much anyway. Collison is a savvy veteran and could replace some of the leadership on the bench that was lost when Jared Dudley took a coaching job. Plus, he could be a valuable bench player for the Lakers if there were injuries to any of the other point guards.
Lakers Could Also Use a Forward
When it comes to guards, the Lakers have plenty. However, they could be a little lean at power forward. There’s been chatter of LeBron James moving to power forward and Anthony Davis to center. If that ends up being true, the team would still be pretty thin at power forward.
Carmelo Anthony can play the position but he’d be a liability on defense. Landing a defensive specialist at power forward could be the smart play. The Lakers gave up a lot of defense this offseason with their roster moves. Head coach Frank Vogel is a defensive-minded head coach so he could push to get some more help on that side of the court before the season ends.