With only a few more days left before playing games that actually count, the Lakers’ coaching staff must cut the roster down to at least 15 players. This means that at least one player will be waived before the next Tuesday, and that may very well be rookie Darius Johnson-Odom.
Another indication that Johnson-Odom is on his way out in Los Angeles is the talk of the Marquette product possibly heading to Ukraine to sign with Azoumash Mariupol according to Sportando.net:
“The future of Darius Johnson-Odom will likely be in Ukraine with Azovmash Mariupol. The rookie will be released by the Lakers with whom he is at the camp. Johnson-Odom might replace Nemanja Gordic in the Ukrainian club.”
Along with Johnson-Odom, who is most likely headed overseas after being cut by the Lakers, second-year guard Andrew Goudelock might also be waived by the team. The Lakers are considering only keeping 14 players rather than the maximum of 15 designated by the NBA.
The reason for the open spot may be to help address the problems off the bench in the near future. There’s no question that the bench needs some help after an awful performance in the preseason that clearly exposed the team’s flaw in the second unit.
Rookie Robert Sacre appears to be the only player with a non-guaranteed contract that the Lakers will retain. Along with Sacre, Jordan Hill and Devin Ebanks were the best players off the bench during the preseason.
The recently signed Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks have yet to prove their worth as they both failed to make an impression. That may very well change in the regular season with more time playing alongside some of the starters, but both of the new additions need to step it up moving forward.
In case you missed it: Dwight Howard talks about the slow process of putting together a championship team.