Rob Pelinka Says Lakers Are Looking For One More Center To Put Next To Anthony Davis To Replicate 2019-20 Success
Anthony Davis, Lakers
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have the vast majority of their roster complete with 13 players under contract. Rob Pelinka and the front office have done an excellent job of retaining the players they wanted to keep while also adding a couple new faces who could have a big impact such as Gabe Vincent, Taurean Prince and Jaxson Hayes.

The Lakers do want to add one more player to the roster before the season gets started and by all accounts it is a big man they are targeting. As it currently stands, Hayes and Anthony Davis are the only true bigs on the roster and the team wants to add one more big body.

One reason for this is the success the Lakers had in 2019-20 with JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard providing a physical presence along with Davis, who didn’t have to do as much banging down low. And Pelinka is looking to replicate that with Hayes and another player this season, via Khobi Price of the Southern California News Group:

“Yeah, so we have 13 guys signed and we are actively in the market to add another big. Coach and I have talked a little bit with Anthony [Davis] in the offseason about more minutes of some of the 2020 success we had where Anthony got to play with a big and I think adding Jaxson Hayes was key to that. I think Jaxson, much like maybe Dwight Howard in that stretch for us, is a big body, rim protector, active roller. When you have on-ball guys like D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves, having someone who is willing to sacrifice their body and set a screen is important and I think Jaxson is gonna big there. But we are looking to add an additional center as well.”

But just as important as getting another big is the type of center the Lakers bring in. Pelinka made it clear that the Lakers want someone who brings something different from Hayes:

“I think dimensionalizing the skills at that position will be important so we don’t wanna sign someone who replicates the skills that Jaxson Hayes has. So if we can diversify the big position and have different looks that would be good.”

This makes a lot of sense for the Lakers. Hayes is similar to McGee in being a high-energy, very athletic rim runner who can also protect the rim on the other side. What the Lakers are looking to bring in is someone closer to what Howard brought in the strength, physicality and aggression who can be more of an enforcer.

The Lakers came into the offseason with a plan and they have executed it wonderfully. Now Pelinka is looking for that one last piece to go into the season with the perfect roster to make a run at an NBA Championship.

Rob Pelinka says first free agency call was to Austin Reaves

Just as, if not more, important for the Lakers in free agency this summer was retaining their own key pieces and guard Austin Reaves was at the top of that list. Reaves turned into one of the most important players for the team last season and the Lakers made sure he didn’t go anywhere by signing him to a new four-year contract.

And Pelinka made sure Reaves knew that he was the Lakers’ top priority as he revealed that the first call made by the front office when free agency began was to Reaves. Pelinka added that the franchise wanted Reaves to be able to explore free agency but that both sides wanted him back and purple and gold, making the process much easier.

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