The Los Angeles Lakers have signed Wenyen Gabriel and D.J. Augustin off the buyout market to strengthen the roster ahead of the final weeks of the 2021-22 season. But former NBA star Jamal Crawford has said they missed out on a valuable addition to their team by not offering him a contract until the end of the season.
Augustin and Gabriel registered solid debuts in the 132-111 loss to the L.A. Clippers. The 34-year-old guard scored three points and added six assists in nearly 22 minutes off the bench. Meanwhile, Gabriel scored three points and had two offensive rebounds in about four minutes.
NBA legend Allen Iverson recently tweeted he didn’t understand why teams in need of roster reinforcements — such as the Lakers — didn’t reach out to Crawford, a three-time Sixth Man of the Year. During his cameo on Tuesday’s NBA on TNT, the 41-year-old guard responded to Iverson’s tweet, saying he would “guarantee” the Lakers a point for every minute he spent on the court:
We heard you, Jamal 😎 pic.twitter.com/lbygHFQJ9U
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 2, 2022
“Whatever you want, put in your order, I’ll give you what you’re looking for,” Crawford said.
The Lakers showed interest in the veteran guard in the past, but he didn’t appear to be among the players the Purple and Gold looked at before they signed Gabriel and Augustin.
Crawford hasn’t played in the NBA since 2020 and likely won’t return to the league this season, as players signed after March 1 aren’t eligible to compete in the playoffs.
Augustin believes Lakers can still make run in 2021-22
Although his debut ended in the Lakers’ fourth straight loss, Augustin believes the Purple and Gold can still turn their fortunes around and make a strong push for the title this season.
“We’re still in a good position where we can still have a chance and that’s all you need in this league is a chance,” he said. “With guys like LeBron and Russ and even AD when he’s healthy, this team has a lot of good guys on the team.”
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