The Los Angeles Lakers have signed former first-round pick Sekou Doumbouya to a two-way deal, filling a need for the team with a rash of injuries popping up.
Doumbouya has been well-traveled this preseason, playing for Brooklyn and landing in Houston before he was waived, becoming a free agent. He’ll now have a chance to carve out a spot on the Lakers roster. Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported that a deal was being worked on and the Lakers confirmed the signing on Twitter.
Doumbouya responded to the deal with a simple, yet effective message on Twitter.
The Lakers now have 20 players on their training camp roster and will have to waive someone to make room for Doumbouya. That move has yet to be announced. It also means the team’s pair of two-way spots are filled Joel Ayayi holding the other. Mac McClung and Chaundee Brown were seen as other candidates for the spot.
Doumbouya is only 20 years old and is a low-risk, high upside signing for LA. He has appeared in 94 NBA games (30 starts) for the Detroit Pistons, averaging 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 17.3 minutes.
Originally drafted with the 15th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Doumbouya played 16 NBA G League games (14 starts) for Grand Rapids during the 2019-20 season, averaging 17.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 27.0 minutes per game.
Lakers Needs Extra Depth With Injuries
The Lakers are dealing with longer-term injuries to Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker, so adding depth is essential as the regular season kicks into gear. Ariza had a procedure on his ankle that will keep him sidelined for at least two months, while Horton-Tucker will miss at least a month recovering from surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament on his right thumb.
“Trevor did everything he could to make it through the injury without missing any time or without any procedure,” Vogel said on told reporters earlier this month. “Ultimately it was just making sure that we got it cleaned up, and hopefully we’ll get him back as soon as we can.”
The Lakers are also monitoring Malik Monk’s groin injury, hoping he’ll be ready for the regular-season opener on October 19.
“Malik [Monk] is going to be out for probably about a week with the strained groin. He’s likely going to miss about a week,” Vogel said. “He’s going to be re-evaluated in a week, but we are hopeful that he’ll be available for the opener for us.”
Lakers Still Expecting to be Stout Defensively
The preseason has not been kind to the Lakers, who are 0-4 and giving up more than 120 points per game to their opponents. However, general manager Rob Pelinka expects the team to remain stout on defense, despite the injuries and massive change in personnel.
“The good news is that we have seen this ‘Coach Vogel Effect’ defensively with last year’s group, and the year before where his system and his discipline, and his teaching, and his focus on that side of the ball translated into success,” Pelinka said during his preseason address on Sept. 23.
The Lakers rolled out their big three of LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis against the Warriors for the first time as a unit on Tuesday. However, Golden State sat both Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, so it was hard to get a true evaluation of how things will look.