With training camp just a couple of weeks away the Los Angeles Lakers still have one spot left should they want to bring anyone else in. The Lakers have 14 players on guaranteed deals and another four players on non-guaranteed deals along with Alex Caruso who is on a two-way contract.
Most recently, former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Shabazz Muhammad has been rumored to be interested in joining the Lakers. His rights were renounced by Minnesota to clear cap space for their moves this summer, but the two sides couldn’t agree on a deal.
Muhammad still has yet to sign anywhere, but according to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, the role and stage of the Lakers is appealing to him:
Many in NBA circles believe he’s weighing the idea of joining the Lakers, who may offer a bigger role and stage to regain his market value.
This idea makes a lot of sense for Muhammad who proved himself to be one of the better bench scorers in the NBA over the last couple of seasons. While he isn’t an outstanding shooter, his size and strength make him very difficult to stop in the paint for most wings.
Brandon Ingram will clearly be the starter at small forward for the Lakers, but behind him are only veterans Luol Deng and Corey Brewer. Muhammad would represent an offensive upgrade over both and offers positional flexibility as he can play the wing as well as operate as a small-ball power forward.
Having that big stage also makes a difference as the Lakers will be a constant on National TV this year so if he plays well, the world will take notice. Players like Nick Young and Ed Davis have been able to cash-in elsewhere after good seasons in L.A. and Muhammad could benefit as well. Now it’s just a matter of finding out what his ultimate decision will be.