The Los Angeles Lakers are hoping to improve their roster in free agency this summer, which isn’t a surprise coming off a 17-win season. While the team is stocked with young talent like D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, and Brandon Ingram, they could use a few veteran pieces.
In particular, the Lakers need a rim protector to help shore up what was the worst defense in the league last season. Roy Hibbert was supposed to help in that endeavor last season but didn’t have the impact that Los Angeles hoped he would.
After an impressive performance for the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs, center Bismack Biyombo has become one of the most sought-after defensive players on the market. According to Mike Mazzeo of ESPN, Biyombo may indeed be an option for the Lakers:
Have heard Biyombo connected to LA as a rim protection possibility https://t.co/fDGStTfFX9
— Mike Mazzeo (@MazzESPN) July 1, 2016
Of course, Biyombo won’t come cheap, and he isn’t without his shortcomings. Biyombo’s offensive game is essentially limited to dunks and put-backs at this point, and his passing ability isn’t much better.
Fortunately, those aren’t things that the Lakers would need from him. Instead, they would just ask Biyombo to rebound and be a presence at the rim. In the playoffs, he showed an ability to do both of those things at a high level, averaging 10.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks starting in place of the injured Jonas Valanciunas against the Miami Heat.
Even when he doesn’t block a shot, Biyombo’s presence is enough to lower shooting percentages at the basket to just 53.4 percent, which is right in line with top rim protectors like Hassan Whiteside and Rudy Gobert. As a free agent, Biyombo could be looking for a contract that starts at upwards of $15 million per year, but at 23 years old he may be well worth the price tag.