There has been much discussion about whether or not the Los Angeles Lakers should bring in a stopgap big man to replace the injured Mo Bamba, especially due to Anthony Davis being required to miss some games. Earlier this week, the Lakers brought in Tristan Thompson and Tony Bradley for workouts for that exact reason.
Head coach Darvin Ham has managed without a true backup center relatively well. The Lakers are 5-3 in their last eight without Bamba, but they suffered a loss to the Houston Rockets when Davis was required to sit out by the medical staff.
On Tuesday, Ham revealed that the Lakers did in fact host the two big men for a workout before discussing what the next few days may look like with regard to them, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic:
Darvin Ham confirms that Tristan Thompson and Tony Bradley worked out for the Lakers yesterday, but clarified that “nothing is imminent.” He said the Lakers were doing their “due diligence” on evaluating big man options.
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) March 21, 2023
Neither Thompson nor Bradley is going to single-handedly solve any issues surrounding the Lakers. Bradley has never been a regular part of an NBA rotation and Thompson has yet to play a game this season for any team.
However, there is some credence to the argument that the Lakers need simply anyone with size to play behind Davis on the depth chart until Bamba can return. Thompson is 6-foot-9-inches and 254 pounds while Bradley is 6-foot-10-inches and 248 pounds.
Both are slightly undersized for their position, but could still provide some level of resistance against what would likely be opponent’s backup big men.
Ham’s confirmation does make it sound as though neither may be in serious consideration for a 10-day contract. But coaches have frequently been known to say half-truths in order to keep their cards close to their chest publicly.
Lakers working to get Davis more touches
Another frequent topic of conversation surrounding the Lakers has been the apparent lack of offensive touches for Davis. He averaged significantly fewer touches per game than his All-Star center counterparts like Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.
Ham confirmed they are looking to get him more involved.
“We’ll find that. We’ll move him around,” Ham said. “It’s easier to do that when he’s trying to post up. But when he’s on the run, he’s trailing the play and we’re able to flip the ball back to him and have him face up in the middle of the floor, it’s a lot more difficult to guard him and double-team him. So we’ll move him around in different spaces, playing in transition, pick-and-rolls, DHO actions and try to see that.”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!