The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to work out former Denver Nuggets big man Kenneth Faried this week in an effort to see if the “Manimal” can contribute to their veteran-laden roster.
Faried last played in the NBA during the 2018-19 season, averaging 10.4 points and 6.4 rebounds with the Nets and Rockets. He’s also played in China with the Zhejiang Lions.
Faried recently played in the Summer Leaguer with the Portland Trail Blazers alongside former Lakers forward Michael Beasley. The 31-year-old averaged 5.7 points and 8.3 rebounds on 39% shooting in 18.6 minutes per game.
Jovan Buha of The Athletic first reported the Lakers’ plans to work out Faried.
The Lakers have two guaranteed roster spots open, although they are planning to leave one empty to maintain flexibility. The team also has three training camp spots available, so the Lakers could choose to simply get a closer look at Faried in camp and see how he meshes with the rest of the roster.
Lakers Equipped With DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard
Faried would be an interesting addition to the Lakers roster considering they already have two veterans in Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan. Both veterans are eager to compete for a championship wearing purple and gold.
Jordan was with the Nets previously but was traded to Detroit and agreed to a buyout. He fell out of the rotation at times and was clear that he feels he can still compete at a high level.
“I’m a competitor, man. We all are in this league and we want to be able to be out there and competing, but also it just worked better for both of us,” Jordan said during his introductory press conference. “I’m excited to be a part of this Lakers franchise and this organization with this group of guys, and I’m focused on here.”
Howard won a title with the Lakers in 2020 but left for Philadelphia in free agency when he could not reach a deal to return. Howard will likely be the Lakers starting center but is OK with whatever role he plays to help the team win.
“I just think it’s about sacrifice,” Howard said. “What are you willing to give up to get the trophy?… My first year [back] here, it was for me, you’ve got to realize, ‘Dwight, just do what they ask you to do, no matter how hard it may be at times.’ Everybody wants to score. Everybody wants to be the person to make the front page of the newspaper.”
Anthony Davis Will See More Time at Center
While Faried would be a nice small-ball center, there’s also the fact that Anthony Davis is slated to play more center this season. Davis has been vocal about not wanting to play the position, but it was something he was willing to do with the Lakers making the move for Russell Westbrook this offseason.
A position swap was something Davis, Westbrook and LeBron James spoke about in a meeting before the trade, according to Brad Turner of the L.A. Times.
James and Davis talked about the two of them changing positions if that was best for the team — James moving from small forward to power forward and Davis from power forward to center.
We’ll see what the Lakers decide but their big man rotation does seem relatively set going into camp.