Lakers Worked Out Former Top 5 Pick While on Road Trip

Cody Zeller

Getty The Lakers recently worked out Cody Zeller.

The Los Angeles Lakers are investigating their options to improve their roster and recently worked out veteran big man Cody Zeller.

The Lakers worked out Zeller while they were on the road in Charlotte to take on the Hornets, per Marc Stein. Zeller — the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 draft — last played with the Portland Trail Blazers, logging 27 games with them last season. He averaged 5.2 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game. Zeller had a training camp deal with the Jazz but was let go prior to the start of the season.

Zeller has 273 starts on his resume with career averages of 8 points and 6 rebounds per game. Outside of his stint with the Blazers, the rest of his time in the NBA was spent with Charlotte.

The Lakers signing Zeller does not seem imminent, especially considering that they signed Sterling Brown on Friday. With Brown now on the roster via a 10-day contract, they no longer have an open roster spot, although that doesn’t mean they can’t create one.

The news of Zellerʻs workout comes shortly after the Lakers worked out guard Tyler Dorsey in Los Angeles. Dorsey most recently played with the Mavericks, appearing in three games. He didn’t see much time, averaging just 2.7 minutes and three points per game. He’s logged three seasons in the NBA, also playing for the Hawks and Grizzlies.

Big Man Move Hinges on Anthony Davisʻ Health

If the Lakers were to sign another big man, it would likely come attached to some bad news regarding Anthony Davis, who is out nursing a stress injury in his foot. There is hope Davis can return to the lineup in the coming weeks but he has been very timid to put a timeline on a return.

“Feeling a lot better, pain has subsided tremendously,” Davis told reporters on December 31. “I think the next step is [the foot] healing right now. I don’t want to use timetables because that’s a whole different thing, but it’s healing pretty quickly.”

Prior to his injury, Davis was on pace for another All-Star season, averaging 27.4 points, 12.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.1 blocks per game while shooting 59.4% from the field.

The Lakers said recently that everything is going according to plan with Davis, although they will likely play any decision on the safe side considering his recent injury history.

With Davis out, Thomas Bryant has done more than hold down the fort. He’s played especially well in the three games since the New Year, averaging 19.5 points and 12 rebounds. Wenyen Gabriel has also been solid when called upon, while Damian Jones — who is currently day-to-day — has mostly disappointed.

Lakers Also Set to Look at DeMarcus Cousins

Zeller is not the only big man the Lakers are keeping an eye on. The team is expected to work out four-time All-Star DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is expected to visit with the team at “some point next week,” per Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, who assured the big man is in good shape.

“He has been working out six days a week in Las Vegas. The free-agent center hopes to impress a Lakers franchise in evaluation mode,” Haynes reported. “As of January 5, teams are now allowed to sign players to 10-day contracts.”

Cousins signed with the Lakers for the 2019-20 season but never played a game, tearing his ACL prior. A big plus for the 32-year-old is that he has experience playing with Davis, previously teaming up with him in New Orleans. Cousins played with the Nuggets last season, logging 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

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