Lakers ‘Poking Around’ NBA to Check Availability of Players: Report

rob pelinka

Getty Los Angeles Lakers GM Rob Pelinka.

It’s not time for the Los Angeles Lakers to start panicking but it is time for them to start thinking of contingency plans. With Anthony Davis banged up, the team is going to have a void on both sides of the court for a while. It’s still early in the regular season so the Lakers don’t have too much to worry about but due to Davis’ injury history, they should consider finding some help.

Luckily, Los Angeles is in a position where they can sit their superstar for a while and still win a bunch of games. However, they should still consider their options. In his latest episode of The Woj Pod, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped some interesting information on the Lakers.

“I think for the Lakers now, you mentioned the buyout market later, I know they’ve been poking around the league a little bit to see if some role players may become available elsewhere,” Wojnarowski said, via Silver Screen & Roll. “But I think the Lakers and the Nets, the Clippers, those teams have shown that they’re going to compete for the top buyout market players. For the L.A. players, a chance to go be in L.A., a chance to compete for a title, and obviously, Brooklyn has needs.”

It’s no surprise that the Lakers are seeing what’s out there. Even if Davis wasn’t hurt, they’d likely still look to see who is available.

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Woj Names Trevor Ariza as Potential Fit

After the trade deadline, there should be plenty of available players for the Lakers to take a look at. While Wojnarowski didn’t directly link the team to any players, he did bring up Trevor Ariza as a potential fit:

Remember a player who’s still out there, Bobby: Trevor Ariza, who is on Oklahoma City’s roster, he’s not reported this year. [Thunder general manager] Sam Presti traditionally does not do contract buyouts. He’s usually been able to find trades for guys, so maybe Ariza gets a trade somewhere and then gets bought out if the Lakers can’t trade for him, but that’s another player who I think will be in great demand among the contenders. He’s somebody who has shown up in big moments, a really experienced and versatile forward.

Lakers fans would be ecstatic to see Ariza in the purple and gold once again. He was a key member of the 2009 championship team. His 3-point shooting ability and strong defensive skill would make him a solid addition for Los Angeles. However, Ariza has yet to play a game this season as he’s sitting out due to “family matters.” He also sat out of the NBA bubble last season for the same reason. It’s unclear what’s going on with Ariza but it’s far from a guarantee that he’ll play this season, even if he has the chance to reunite with the Lakers.

Other Potential Buyout Targets

It’s easy to see the Lakers wanting to bring Ariza back, but they could also look at other players. If they expect Davis to be out for a while, they need to add some size. Detroit Pistons star Blake Griffin could get bought out if he’s not traded. He could come ring chase with the Lakers.

If he’s too flashy of a move, the team could have a shot at bringing JaVale McGee back, if McGee is traded somewhere else first. He was traded away in the offseason to make room for Marc Gasol. Perhaps they see McGee as the backup center and plan to play Montrezl Harrell at the four. A lot of the Lakers’ plan could hinge on how confident they are that Davis can finish the season.

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