The Los Angeles Lakers have 13 players currently under contract, with two spots they can potentially fill before the start of the 2021-22 NBA season. Flexibility seems to be the angle for general manager Rob Pelinka and the front office, but signing a 14th player appears to be in the works.
On Thursday, Pelinka had an unexpected press conference for the media ahead of Media Day, which will take place next week on Sept. 28. He fielded all sorts of questions, including what the team intends to do with their open roster spots.
“I think we do have two open roster spots, 14 and 15,” Pelinka said. “Most likely 15 will be held just with the tax implications and also holding that for potentially the buyout deadline is usually a tool a lot of contenders use, so I think there’s a likelihood there. It’s not an absolute. We’re always fluid and anything can be presented and then we are in kind of our final evaluations on what to do with the 14th spot and that’s something we will make a decision on and around before camp starts on Tuesday, so still kind of evaluating that as we speak.”
Over the past few weeks and months, the Lakers have been linked to a number of notable players for one of those roster spots. Monta Ellis was the latest player rumored to be a potential target along with UCLA product Darren Collison, who has been linked to the team on more than one occasion over the past couple of seasons.
Considering the fact this Lakers roster is older than normal and coming off a season derailed by injuries, Los Angeles would be wise to bring in some insurance.
As currently constructed, the Lakers will be the oldest team in the league heading into the 2021-22 campaign with an average age of 30.9. The next in line is the Miami Heat at more than two years younger at 28.8. The league average is 26.2.
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