Lakers Rumors: Front Office Had Interest In Signing Meyers Leonard Before Signing With Bucks For Rest Of Season
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers were put in a precarious position when big man Mo Bamba suffered an ankle injury earlier this month.

The high left ankle sprain by Bamba has him sidelined for at least four weeks and set to be reevaluated in the first week of April. Bamba’s injury thinned out the Lakers’ front court, leaving Anthony Davis and Wenyen Gabriel as the only available big men.

A week prior to Bamba’s injury, the Lakers allowed South Bay center Jay Huff to sign with the Washington Wizards. Huff would have been an easy choice for a replacement because of his familiarity with the Lakers and skill set.

His departure left the Lakers to scour the buyout market, working out big men such as Tristan Thompson, Tony Bradley, Demarcus Cousins and Meyers Leonard. Though none of these players ended up signing a deal with the Lakers, Leonard was reportedly the closest one, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic:

The Lakers had an interest in signing Meyers Leonard, whom they worked out on Jan 13., before he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for the rest of the season, according to league sources who were not authorized to speak on potential signings.

Leonard has appeared in six games for the Milwaukee Bucks, reaching double-digit points once. He’s averaging just 8.5 minutes per game but likely would have slotted in as an emergency backup to Davis.

It’s unclear whether or not the Lakers will sign a backup big man before the season ends. Darvin Ham indicated ‘nothing is imminent’ regarding Thompson and Bradley and they were doing their ‘due diligence’ with the evaluation of big men.

Even though the front office hasn’t signed a backup, they may not need to. Gabriel has emerged into a ball of energy and hustle off the bench. He’s played double-digit minutes in each game since Bamba’s injury and had consecutive games with over 10 rebounds. However, depending on the matchup in the playoffs, having Gabriel as an undersized backup could hurt the Lakers.

L.A. still has time to make a move on the buyout market.

Anthony Davis likes the Lakers’ chances against anybody

The moves at the trade deadline changed the outlook of the season for the Lakers. The addition of shooting, defense and effective playmaking has allowed L.A. to steadily climb up the standings.

For Davis, the new Lakers are a team that reminds him of the 2020 championship-winning squad, making him confident they can take on anyone.

“If we actually have a full summer, full training camp, go through an entire season, who knows the position we’ll be in,” Davis said. ” … The team we have now, we feel like not only can we make noise this year, and I like our chance against anybody to be honest. You put anybody against us, I like our chances. … Who knows what we could be, what threat we could be next year and then years to come if they work it out and are able to keep this group together.”

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!

You May Also Like

Lakers Highlights: Anthony Davis’ Monster Day & Talen Horton-Tucker’s Dazzling Debut Enough To Fend Off Spurs

The Los Angeles Lakers responded well to yet another embarrassing loss, beating the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday thanks…

Lakers Draft Rumors: L.A. To Meet With Markelle Fultz This Week

The Los Angeles Lakers have been hard at work for weeks doing homework on all of the top prospects in the upcoming NBA Draft…

NBA Free Agency Rumors: Lakers Interested In Re-Signing Markieff Morris

One of the more underrated moves from the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2019-20 season was the signing of…

This Day In Lakers History: Pau Gasol Posts 20-20 Game In Overtime Win Against Bucks

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2009-10 NBA season with aspirations to repeat as NBA Champions. They jumped…