Lakers Re-Sign Former 1st Round Pick, Waive Center

Sekou Doumbouya

Getty Sekou Doumbouya defending Julius Randle.

For a while there, things were looking bleak for the Los Angeles Lakers roster. Multiple players were placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, including head coach Frank Vogel. This led to a five-game losing streak as they had to fill out the roster with temporary options and two-way players.

The roster has started to stabilize so the Lakers have more flexibility with moves they’d like to make. Early in the season, Sekou Doumbouya was with the team on a two-way contract before getting let go in November. Los Angeles announced that they’ve decided to bring him back on a two-way deal.

Doumbouya is a former first-round pick by the Detroit Pistons but has had trouble sticking on an NBA roster this season. In his two games with the Lakers this year, he averaged 7.0 points a game with 3.0 rebounds. The 6-foot-9 power forward is just 21-years-old and has plenty of upside. He could be an intriguing piece on defense as his size and athleticism give him the ability to guard multiple positions. The Lakers need defensive help and perhaps Doumbouya can bring some at points during the season.

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Jay Huff Waived

In order to make room on the roster for Doumbouya, the Lakers had to waive center Jay Huff. The undrafted rookie out of Virginia has been with the team since October on a two-way deal. This roster shortage led to him getting a chance to play in four games this season. However, he didn’t score a single point.

If he clears waivers, he’ll likely get a chance to sign with the South Bay Lakers G League team. With Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan still on the roster, the Lakers don’t really have a need for an extra center right now so the move makes sense.

Lakers Starting to Get Healthy

The Lakers are playing better basketball lately but are still 21-20, which makes them the seventh seed in the Western Conference. However, the team hasn’t been at full strength all season. All-Star big man Anthony Davis has been out for weeks with a knee injury. Vogel is teasing some lineup changes when Davis returns.

“I think you’re gonna see Anthony playing a lot at the five and then when Anthony is out, we have the lineups that we’ve been playing right now with LeBron basically playing point center,” Vogel said Tuesday.

“It is a direction that I think we’re gonna land with this group towards the second half of the season and one we’re seeing obvious benefits for right now that we feel like we’re gonna be even more enhanced when Anthony gets back.”

Pushing Davis to center would be a wise move as that’s when the Lakers have played their best. The team should also be getting Kendrick Nunn back at some point. He was one of the most notable signings the team made in the offseason but he has yet to play a game. He should be a difference-maker when he returns to the court.

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