While there was hope the Los Angeles Lakers would turn their season around coming out of the All-Star break, that has not how it’s gone so far with them losing a heartbreaker to the L.A. Clippers and then being blown out by the New Orleans Pelicans at home.
It became clear before the trade deadline that the Lakers needed to make some moves to get back into contention, but they ultimately stood pat, unwilling to part with more future assets after giving up almost everything they had to bring in LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.
The only way for the Lakers to make roster upgrades is via free agency and the buyout market ahead of the March 1 deadline, and they finally made a move on Monday, reportedly waiving DeAndre Jordan in order to bring in veteran point guard DJ Augustin.
By waiving Jordan, the Lakers are left with only Dwight Howard as a true big man on their roster as they continue to shift to more small-ball.
They still could use another big body though, and they will address that by reportedly bringing in Wenyen Gabriel on a two-way contract, via Shams Charania of The Athletic:
The Lakers also intend to sign forward Wenyen Gabriel on a two-way NBA contract, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Gabriel has had stints with the Nets, Clippers and Pelicans this season, showing flashes of athleticism and versatility at 6-foot-9. https://t.co/XCCc1MxC2B
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 1, 2022
Despite being just 24 years of age, Gabriel has bounced around throughout his young NBA career since going undrafted out of Kentucky, spending time with the Brooklyn Nets, New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Clippers this season.
At 6’9″, he will give the Lakers another bigger option with athleticism that can run the floor and occasionally knock down a 3-point shot.
It’s unclear who the Lakers will be waiving to add Gabriel, with their current two-way players being Mason Jones and Sekou Doumbouya. Jones has been thriving in the G League, averaging 26.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists, while Doumbouya has struggled in his limited time with 6.3 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists.
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