Despite losing their top target in free agency, the Lakers have had quite a busy offseason thus far. With many shakeups to the roster, including seeing some favorites leave (Metta World Peace), the Lakers have used their Plan B to compile a roster they deem competitive, despite being limited financially on what they had to offer free agents.
It has been reported that the Lakers are set with starting the season with 14 players on their roster (of the NBA max of 15 players), which means that the Lakers have one roster spot up for grabs (taking into consideration the assumed signing of Ryan Kelly). There have been a ton of rumors of a possible reunion with Lamar Odom while two standouts from the Lakers’ Summer League, Marcus Landry and Chris Douglas-Roberts, are making noise for a spot.
It should be noted that Landry has agreed to a “small guarantee” contract with the Lakers, which essentially means a camp invite with the remaining possibility that he could be cut. Therefore, that last roster spot remains open. We asked our Lakers Nation roundtable writers who they think will get the last roster spot out of Odom, Douglas-Roberts or Landry, and here’s what they had to say:
Suki Thind (@TheRealSuki): I’m going with Lamar Odom here, simply because I hope it’s what the Lakers choose and feel he’ll be the best fit. I recently wrote an article detailing exactly which areas Odom would be an asset; naming versatility on offense and defense, ability to rebound, ability to create shots for himself and others, familiarity with Kobe and Pau, and finally, being a bridge between the back court and front court as key assets.
Additionally, Odom can play the role of “stretch four” in Mike D’Antoni’s offense, and while he may not be the best shooter out there, he’s able to operate along the perimeter and also take the ball into the post. Odom’s ability to rebound the ball and push it up the court in one swoop can be another plus if the Lakers bring him back. His constant mentality to move the ball around will certainly be an added benefit to a team that often lacked chemistry last season.
As for Odom and why he should join the Lakers over the Clippers, it’s simple. While the Clippers may be looking at a more promising season, Odom will likely get more playing time and responsibility with his old Lakers team. He had his best seasons here, and he’s never really looked comfortable since leaving — and his numbers have showed that. If he comes back to the Lakers, I can almost guarantee that he’ll average much better numbers than the 4.0 points and 5.9 rebounds he did last season. Will he get 14.4 points and 5.9 rebounds like he did in his last season with the Lakers? Probably not, but he at least knows his role with the Lakers and knows how to play with two of its key pieces.
Ryan Ward (@Lakers_Examiner): With the Los Angeles Lakers’ roster for the upcoming NBA season shaping up, it’s decision time for Mitch Kupchak and company in terms of which player or players will be added to the roster before next season.
Currently, the team is seriously considering adding one or two of three players. Chris Douglas-Roberts, Marcus Landry and Lamar Odom are the three atop the list of potential candidates. The popular pick is Odom with the team already bringing back Jordan Farmar and having already considered other former players like Sasha Vujacic and Josh Powell.
Although Odom is the fan favorite and expressed interest in a reunion, it’s doubtful it’ll happen at this point in time. Odom is warming up to the prospect of returning to the Lakers, but the team isn’t sold on the idea.
Landry and Douglas-Roberts have emerged as the favorites to ultimately land with the team after the signing of undrafted rookie Elias Harris. Landry might have the clear edge after seemingly receiving a training camp invite, but Douglas-Roberts has been on the team’s radar for quite some time with the journeyman participating in training camp last year as well.
As of right now, I’d have to go with Landry getting the nod unless Odom emerges as a better option. Landry played well during the summer league and seems to have made an impression.
Although Douglas-Roberts may also be given a training camp invite, Landry will likely be the player that is signed to a guaranteed contract.
Ramneet Singh (@RamneetSingh24): I will have to go with the former Laker Lamar Odom. In my eyes, the final roster spot will come down to two players, one being Odom and the other being Marcus Landry. Even though Chris Douglas-Roberts has familiarized himself with the team over the past couple of seasons and performed well in the Summer League, it is hard seeing him make the roster. The Lakers already have a handful of players in the back court and at the small forward position, which is why I cannot imagine the front office adding another player in that position.
However, the Lakers can use some front court depth, and that is why Lamar Odom will be most beneficial. Not only does the 6-10 forward have a height advantage over the 6-7 Landry, Odom is a far more versatile player. Odom would work perfectly in the Lakers’ rotation and will be an ideal back up for Jordan Hill at the power forward position.
The beauty of Odom is that although his default position is the four, he can easily fit in as the small forward and can handle to ball to take pressure off Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.
Elizabeth Benson (@gobibs): My vote is for Marcus Landry to get the last roster spot on the Lakers’ squad, assuming they go with the 14-man roster as reported. While I thought Lamar Odom seemed like the no brainer choice several weeks ago, I changed my tune after Landry’s impressive and consistent showing at this year’s Summer League in Las Vegas, where he averaged 15.2 points a game while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from behind the arc.
Is he the perfect all-around player? No. However, I feel like the Lakers are evolving their roster to allow Mike D’Antoni to run his system with fewer and less dramatic changes than last season. Therefore, I feel that Landry best suits the system that is in place right now.
In fact, he has gone on record in support of D’Antoni’s system and is comfortable and familiar with it from his brief stint in New York under D’Antoni’s coaching. The Lakers are poised to be bigger threats at the three-point line this season, and Landry shot 42.8 percent from the three last season in the D-League.
Yes, a Lamar Odom reuniting with the Lakers would be sentimental, but I think the Lakers have moved on. While I believe Chris Douglas-Roberts is an almost definite camp invitee, my vote remains with Marcus Landry to make the roster.
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