The Los Angeles Lakers have likely finalized their roster heading into the start of the season after the team announced the signing of center Jay Huff with their final two-way spot. The move comes just days after the former Virginia center was released by the Wizards on October 13.
Los Angeles had an open two-way spot after the release of Joel Ayayi and essentially the Lakers and Wizards swapped players with their recent additions. Ayayi was claimed by the Wizards after the guard was released by the Lakers.
“Interesting: Lakers sign Center Jay Huff, a spacing big out of UVA, to a two-way deal,” Southern California News Group’s Kyle Goon noted on Twitter. “He was on an exhibit 10 deal with the Wizards, so it becomes (in effect) an Ayayi for Huff swap.”
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Huff Is a Floor Spacer & ‘Pick-and-Roll Maestro’
Huff was a starter during his last two seasons at Virginia. The big man averaged 13 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks while shooting 38.7% from long range during his senior year with the Cavaliers. Heading into the 2021 NBA draft, The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie had Huff as his No. 76 ranked player and described the center as a “pick-and-roll maestro.”
“An absolute pick-and-roll maestro and has an excellent feel for getting into the paint,” Vecenie detailed in his annual draft guide. “Plays with great pace and patience. Knows how to string out big defenders into mismatch situations. Will snake the ball screen if you leave him a gap. Tremendous craft with his footwork.
“Great, tight handle. Shifty with real shake. Changes paces well. High-level feel for the direction that a defender is leaning and how to attack that. Most comfortable operating out of the midrange area. Took 87 midrange shots this season, including 60 from within 17 feet, which was among the most in the country. I feel confident that he’ll be able to get to the spots he wants out of ball screens.”
Lakers Roster & Projected Starting Lineup 2021-22
We have heard a lot of discussion about Anthony Davis playing more center this season for the Lakers. Davis admitted it is a move he is willing to make, but it is still unclear if the Lakers will start him at center versus his normal position of power forward. Davis along with LeBron James have discussed embracing position flexibility to accommodate the team’s new additions.
The Lakers indicated the team was planning to keep an open roster spot, but now are completely full after claiming Avery Bradley off waivers. It will be interesting to see how the depth chart shakes out once the team is back at full strength.
Here is a look at a potential Lakers starting lineup if Davis starts at center.
C- Anthony Davis, DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard, Jay Huff (two-way)
PF- LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Sekou Doumbouya (two-way)
SF- Kent Bazemore, Trevor Ariza
SG- Wayne Ellington, Talen Horton-Tucker, Malik Monk, Avery Bradley, Austin Reaves
PG- Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Nunn, Rajon Rondo