It’s the time of year when teams start thinking about making moves to their rosters and the Los Angeles Lakers should be no exception. They don’t have any glaring needs but the team’s recent shooting slump is concerning. Also, Anthony Davis’ calf injury leaves the team with a lack of size.
Due to those factors, the Lakers could look to the trade or buyout market to add some help. Unfortunately, they aren’t exactly flushed with cap space. They have less than $1 million to spend on a free agent. That’s not exactly the type of money that will attract top talent. However, former NBA executive John Hollinger believes that the Lakers could get creative with Quinn Cook’s roster status to save them on guaranteed money.
“The Lakers’ lightly used Quinn Cook, who has played only 62 minutes and whose deal pushes the Lakers much closer to the hard cap ahead of the trade deadline,” Hollinger wrote in The Athletic. “As with the Nets players above, even if they want to keep him, the Lakers save some luxury-tax money by putting him on a 10-day and not having to pay him through the All-Star break.”
Cook isn’t making a ton of money but getting him on a 10-day deal would at least make things a little more flexible for the team down the line.
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Who Could Lakers Want to Add?
The Lakers aren’t stressing to plug a bunch of holes but they do have areas that could improve. After a hot start to the season, the team has struggled from the 3-point line. They are 21st in the NBA in 3-point percentage at 35.5%. A player like Wayne Ellington or Trevor Ariza could help with those issues.
Los Angeles could also use some size. Anthony Davis is out for at least a month, which makes the team a lot smaller. By letting go of Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee last offseason, the Lakers decided to build a smaller roster. That hasn’t necessarily paid off, especially with Davis being hurt. The team should consider a reunion with DeMarcus Cousins or even McGee if he gets let go.
Lakers Move Not Certain Despite Rumors
While it’s easy to speculate who the Lakers could add, any player joining the team is going to have to come on a discount. They can’t offer as much money as other teams around the league. That said, they can offer a very strong chance at winning a championship.
There are plenty of players who want to win a ring and they’d be willing to sacrifice money to make it happen. The season is nearing its halfway point so it wouldn’t be a very long commitment. It’s possible that a guy like Ariza is willing to come back to Los Angeles on the cheap to get another championship with the team. However, there’s no guarantee the Lakers will add anybody. If nobody comes over, it shouldn’t worry the team too much. They didn’t land any big names during last season and were just fine. Once Davis is healthy again, the Lakers’ issues will be a lot less impactful.