It’s only been two years since the Los Angeles Lakers won a championship but only LeBron James and Anthony Davis remain from that roster. Not even head coach Frank Vogel is still with the team. The roster that helped win a championship has been spread out throughout the NBA.
One player who was on the roster during the championship run, but played few minutes, was forward Devontae Cacok. He was a standout on the South Bay Lakers but Los Angeles never gave him much of a chance. He spent last season with the San Antonio Spurs but now he’s got a new home. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Cacok is signing with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Cacok only appeared in 15 games for the Spurs last season and averaged 3.1 points a game. The 6-foot-7 power forward is just 25 and could have some untapped potential. With Damian Lillard getting healthy, the Trail Blazers hope to be back in the playoff mix this season. Cacok won’t be the difference between a playoff team and a non-playoff team but he’s an interesting player for the team to take a chance on.
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Are Lakers Done Adding to the Roster?
This has been an odd offseason for the Lakers. There have been constant rumors that the team is trading Russell Westbrook but that has yet to happen. The Lakers didn’t add any big names in free agency as they focused on mainly bringing in young players.
Los Angeles recently traded away Stanley Johnson and Talen Horton-Tucker for Patrick Beverley. That deal has amplified the need for another wing on the roster. The Lakers continue to watch the trade market and perhaps a Westbrook deal will solve the wing issue. If a deal doesn’t materialize, the team could have some issues this season.
Austin Reaves & Thomas Bryant Standing Out
While the Lakers weren’t able to land any big names this offseason, some lesser-known young players could be ready to take a step. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, center Thomas Bryant and guard Austin Reaves have been impressing the team in offseason workouts:
Reaves and Thomas Bryant have been two of the standout performers in player workouts, league sources told The Athletic. Bryant is nearly 19 months removed from knee surgery after partially tearing his left ACL and is beginning to regain his mobility. Reaves, who bulked up this offseason to around 209 pounds, has been working diligently on his 3-point shot, strength and endurance for the grind of an 82-game season, as well as his physicality to handle bigger wings on the perimeter.
Having Bryant and Reaves develop into dependable players would be huge. It’s possible that both men are starters when the season begins. There’s still a lot that can happen this offseason but Bryant and Reaves are off to a great start.
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