After the signing of free agent Jodie Meeks, the roster was basically set for the Los Angeles Lakers with 14 players under contract for the upcoming season. The 15th and final spot for the Lakers was thought to be filled by either rookie center Robert Sacre or guard Darius Johnson-Odom, but that may no longer be the case.
Even though it appears that the Lakers are done in terms of trades and free agent signings, the front office seems to be keeping their options open or at least willing to bring in another able body for training camp.
Reportedly, another candidate has emerged for the final spot on the roster in former UCLA forward Reeves Nelson.
According to Baxter Holmes of the L.A. Times, the Lakers have given Nelson an invite to training camp:
“Former UCLA forward Reeves Nelson will be invited to the Lakers training camp that begins in early October after he signs a one-year non-guaranteed contract worth about $700,000 with the team, which he plans to sign this week, Nelson told The Times on Tuesday.”
Training camp for the Lakers is set to get underway on October 2 followed by the start of the preseason on October 7 against the Golden State Warriors in Fresno, California.
During the span of eight pre-season games, Nelson will have a chance to prove his worth to the Lakers’ coaching staff. Nelson will be battling it out with Sacre and Johnson-Odom to earn a roster spot. No newcomer has made much of an impression thus far after all three rookies played in the Lakers’ summer league games.
Nelson played in two of the five games for the Lakers in Las Vegas, Nevada and put up fairly mediocre numbers averaging 4.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
After the fallout with UCLA that resulted in the forward being kicked off the team, Nelson has a lot to prove if he expects to make an NBA squad. Nelson played overseas for BC Zalgiris in Lithuania after getting the boot in Westwood and failed to impress averaging 2.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in six games before being released.
As if the pressure weren’t enough for Nelson to make it in the NBA after the impression left with the Bruins and Zalgiris, the former college standout will be trying to make one of the most talented rosters in the league and will be considered a long shot to survive through training camp.