The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2022-23 season has not gotten off to an ideal start as they currently sit at 0-2 after losses to the Golden State Warriors and L.A. Clippers.
While there have been some positive takeaways from the two games, the Lakers also have some glaring weaknesses that they will need to address if they want to compete this year.
Two of the biggest weaknesses are shooting and wing defense. The Lakers did not have any cap space at their disposal this summer and with shooting and wing defense at a premium in the NBA, it is difficult to find players who do one or both for a minimum contract.
There are some veteran free agents still on the market that could help in that regard if the Lakers want. And according to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Lakers have discussed the idea of signing Moe Harkless:
There were also some fresh rumbles this week that the Lakers have given some internal consideration to the merits of free agent swingman Moe Harkless, who is only a career 32.0% shooter from deep but theoretically helps address a lack of reliable wings that is almost as glaring as the Lakers’ shooting deficiencies.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Lakers have even brought in Harkless for a workout and meeting:
Lakers hold free-agent workout and meeting with a 10-year NBA veteran – details: pic.twitter.com/BHUZOtiCyA
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 21, 2022
Harkless is someone the Lakers have kicked the tires on before as the 10-year NBA veteran has bounced around the league. At 6’7″, he would give the Lakers the wing defense they have been looking to add given their roster is very guard-heavy.
While Harkless would help defensively, he wouldn’t be able to contribute a whole lot when it comes to outside shooting. Harkless is a career 32% 3-point shooter and shot just 30.7% in 47 games with the Sacramento Kings last season.
It feels like Harkless has been around forever but he is still just 29 years of age. Earlier this summer, he was traded from the Kings to the Atlanta Hawks. That was the start of a wild offseason for him as he was then traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and then the Houston Rockets before being waived on Oct. 10.
Lakers would need to clear roster spot for Harkless
Given that the Lakers have a full roster, they would need to cut someone if they want to sign Harkless. Matt Ryan and Wenyen Gabriel are both on non-guaranteed contracts so would be the primary candidates to be cut loose although the Lakers seem to like what they have in both players.
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