Injuries have started to creep up again for the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been without a few of their rotation members for the past few weeks.
LeBron James has been out for over a week now due to a right foot tendon injury while D’Angelo Russell missed six games because of a right ankle sprain before returning to the starting lineup against the Toronto Raptors. Despite being down two starters, though, the Lakers have managed to actually climb the standings and overtake a Play-In Tournament spot.
However, Los Angeles will be without Mo Bamba for at least four weeks after the big man suffered a high ankle sprain in their win against the Golden State Warriors. Bringing in another center for depth would be a smart move for the Lakers, but Darvin Ham believes there’s enough versatility on the current roster to cover for Bamba’s loss.
“We’ll see. We’re constantly exploring different ways we can improve our ballclub, make no mistake about it. But as of right now, I think we’re versatile enough, we got different guys that we could put in different places. We can play small, we can play big even with this current roster as it stands. So we’re taking it day by day and if something makes sense then maybe we’ll explore it. But if not, until then we’ll keep our options open.”
The Lakers have an open roster spot that they could use to sign a player to a 10-day contract or a rest-of-season deal, so the option is there should they choose to go that route. Notable big men that could be of service include DeMarcus Cousins, Serge Ibaka and Dwight Howard.
If Los Angeles chooses to stand pat, it likely means more minutes for Wenyen Gabriel and perhaps some more small ball lineups featuring players like Rui Hachimura or Jarred Vanderbilt at center. Anthony Davis has already seen an uptick in minutes and that should continue to trend that way for the time being.
It’ll be interesting to see how L.A. approaches that final roster spot, but for now they seem to be doing just fine with the group they have on hand.
Anthony Davis says Lakers aren’t satisfied with Play-In spot
After their recent win over the Toronto Raptors, the Lakers are now the sole owner of the No. 9 seed. However, Davis said that he and the team aren’t satisfied with staying in the Play-In Tournament and want to keep climbing higher in the standings.
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