Despite having a big need for a shooter, the Los Angeles Lakers seem determined to add a center. They’ve been linked to a number of pretty big names and a move seems imminent at this point. The team recently signed Damian Jones to a second 10-day contract, but it’s unlikely he’s the long-term solution.
According to NBA insider Chris Haynes, the Lakers are determined to add a center.
“[Center] is definitely a position of need that they want to address,” Haynes said on Fox Sports’ Undisputed. “But they have a couple different ways they could do it.”
Haynes isn’t the first insider to report that the Lakers are looking to add a big. The team let go of JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard in the offseason and added Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell. It appears they aren’t happy with those moves as they could’ve easily kept both McGee and Howard.
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Lakers Could Bring JaVale McGee Back, but It’s Complicated
It’s becoming apparent that the Lakers specifically regret trading McGee. There have been rumors that have linked them to their former starting center. Haynes seemingly confirmed that they’d like to bring him back.
“But also there’s a name out there that the Lakers would be revisiting if this were to happen,” Haynes said. “He’s another Cavs big man, JaVale McGee. The Lakers feel like they do need somebody out there who can hold down that center spot for 15 to 20 minutes solid.
“Marc Gasol, for the most part, hasn’t given them that consistent play. They like Montezl’s [Harrell] energy coming off the bench and giving them extended minutes depending on the matchup they are playing against, but they still want a placeholder at that spot that can be sturdy.”
McGee could come back and feasibly get used to playing with the Lakers again pretty quickly. However, things will get very complicated if they try to acquire him. They can’t trade for him and they can’t sign him if the Cleveland Cavaliers cut him. The only way they could bring him back is if he’s traded to another team and subsequently released. It’s unlikely that a team will help out the defending champions so it’s a serious long shot that McGee will be returning to Los Angeles.
Andre Drummond Could Be Answer
While it’ll be very difficult to land McGee, the Lakers could take a look at another Cavaliers big man. The team has reported interest in Andre Drummond and it wouldn’t take as many steps to sign him. The Lakers wouldn’t be able to trade for him because they simply wouldn’t be able to afford his contract. However, if he’s released, the team could sign him.
McGee is a good player but Drummond has a lot more upside. He’s a two-time All-Star and is one of the best rebounders in the NBA. He’d be a big upgrade at center over Marc Gasol. His lack of shooting ability isn’t ideal but he’d be a legitimate third star for the Lakers.