Los Angeles Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak is looking to add a back-up center to the team’s roster. Current reserve center Theo Ratliff is set to retire before the start of next season, so the Lakers are in dire need of a big man off the bench.
Over the past few seasons, the Lakers have not had very effective big men backing-up starters Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum. In the most recent repeat title teams, the Lakers had to rely on D.J. Mbenga to provide rest for the star players.
Even in the three-peat earlier last decade the Lakers had lack-luster back-up centers. Horace Grant could have been considered a reserve to Shaquille O’Neal, but he started 77 games for the Lakers in 2000-2001. And still, he was no longer a dynamic player as he once was for the Bulls and Michael Jordan, by the time he came to Los Angeles his career was essentially over.
If the Lakers want to contend for a championship next season, they must make a strong push in acquiring a back-up center. Once Gasol and Bynum hit the bench for a rest, Mike Brown ought to have another center ready to play at a high level.
The Lakers’ front-office is facing many problems heading into this summer’s off-season. The coaching decision has already been made, but they must deal with the center issue and back-court depth alongside Kobe Bryant.