The New York Knicks announced the team has waived forward Mindaugas Kuzminskas, a move likely made in order to facilitate the return of Joakim Noah to the team’s active roster.
“The respect this franchise has for Mindaugas cannot be overstated,” said Knicks General Manager Scott Perry in a statement. “His professionalism and work ethic were greatly appreciated by his teammates, coaches and the entire staff. The decision was extremely tough for us. We wish him nothing but the best moving on with his playing career.”
Kuzminskas, who averaged 6.3 points in 68 games as a rookie last season and only played in one game this year, will now become a free agent with the ability to choose which team he wants to sign with.
There were rumors his representatives had already begun reaching out to interested teams before Kuzminskas was even waived, and it’s logical to connect the dots back to the Los Angeles Lakers as one of those options considering the team’s interest in signing him before the Knicks did.
Could the Lakers circle back with a former free agency target? It’s possible, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post:
If Kuzminskas clears waivers, Lakers, Bulls, Hawks expected to have interest, per source.
— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) November 12, 2017
The Lakers roster is already at the max, meaning if they did want to add Kuzminkas they would have to trade or waive a player in order to make room for the Lithuanian forward.
Whether or not that would be worth their time is an open question, as Kuzminskas only shot 32.1 percent on 3-pointers last season, meaning he likely wouldn’t quite be able to fix the team’s shooting woes (they rank last in the league in 3-point percentage at 28.9 percent) on his own.
Those factors make the Lakers signing Kuzminskas an unlikely outcome to his being waived, although anything is possible as the Lakers have shown interest in him for a while now.
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