Lakers Urged to Target 6-Time All-Star Free Agent

Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Lakers

Reducing the average age of the roster has been a primary target for the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, as they look to right the wrongs of last off-season.

However, it’s always worth remembering that there is a fine line to walk, as youth also means inexperience – which is why finding the right balance is so important. Sure, you can point toward LeBron James and Anthony Davis as being the team’s leaders, but what happens when your bench unit is on the court, and there isn’t a veteran in sight?

As such, an Eastern Conference Executive, who spoke to under the condition of anonymity, recently told Sean Deveney that he believes Blake Griffin could be a useful addition to the Lakers rotation this season.

“The Lakers, too. Look, you do not want to get hit with Covid issues again this year, no team does. You are going to need a couple of roster spots for veterans who can be thrown into the mix without missing a beat and Blake can do that. The Lakers took some swings on young guys, but give me a veteran on that roster and I feel a lot better about the depth trouble they might wind up having. But that kind of thing is on hold until the Lakers figure out what they’re doing with the rest of their summer here,” The executive said.

Griffin might not be the high-flying forward he once was, but he’s proven capable of holding down a bench role on a contending team, while also being a ‘break glass in case of emergency’ starter throughout the regular season.

What Does Griffin Bring to the Lakers?

Last season, Griffin occupied a bench role with the Brooklyn Nets, participating in 56 regular-season games – starting 24 of them. While on the floor, the former All-Star averaged 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game, shooting 42.5% from the field but just 26.2% from deep.

According to Cleaning The Glass, Griffin was most effective in the short mid-range area last season – often referred to as the ‘floater range’ while he also converted 62% of his opportunities around the rim.

However, should the veteran forward join the Lakers, he will likely find himself being asked to space the floor and continue working on his perimeter game – something which looked to be improving during his time with the Detroit Pistons. Sure, Griffin isn’t a walking bucket like Carmelo Anthony was off the bench last season, but his size, physicality, and experience all allude to him being a valuable rotation member that also adds some much-needed depth to the Lakers bench.

Kendrick Nunn Adds Depth at Guard

After missing the entirety of last season with a bone bruise, Kendrick Nunn picked up his player option for the coming season, which has lessened the Lakers’ urgency to find a backup point guard for Russell Westbrook (assuming he remains in Los Angeles).

When speaking during a July 27 interview with Spectrum SportsNet, Nunn spoke about his time on the sidelines has allowed him to grow as a player – most notable in his ability to understand the game from multiple viewpoints.

“Last year was a learning process for me, to be honest. I learned a lot sitting on the sideline just watching. The game slowed down a lot for me. I got to see things from a different perspective. So, definitely took a step just in my ability to learn the game…Wasn’t expecting to sit out that long, but I took advantage of it just to watch. Sit back and watch from a different perspective,” Nunn said.

Hopefully, Nunn can rediscover the form that made him a sought-after prospect last summer and can provide the Lakers with a scoring punch off the bench while also saving the front office from having to acquire an additional guard in free agency – thus giving them more scope to pursue a veteran such as Griffin.

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