In the Lakers’ lap sits a 6’7 small forward who has an innate ability to get to the rim, is known for his ability to score in various ways, and isn’t seen as a selfish player. He’s a solid defender and someone who could immediately contribute to this Lakers squad. When you look at the Lakers roster, specifically their options at the small forward position, it seems like a no-brainer that the Lakers would extend a contract offer at the least.
Yet CDR sits and watches as his Summer League teammates Elias Harris and Marcus Landry receive contracts from the Lakers. He watches as Xavier Henry, Wes Johnson, and Shawne Williams, all players his caliber or possibly worse, get invited to training camp. One year after being the last cut of the Lakers training camp, CDR’s fate seems even worse off now. There’s no rumors, no speculation, not a peep from him or about him.
Eyebrows certainly should be raised. In an off-season that the Lakers have made it clear they’re willing to take a risk, CDR seems like one of the more sure things they could bring in. Sure, he spent most of last year in the NBA Developmental League, but is that worse off than Henry or Johnson seeing just 12.5 minutes and 19.1 minutes a night, respectively? Both guys played just 50 games last year, whereas CDR averaged 38.6 minutes a night in the D-League. CDR put up 49 points and 8 assists in his D-League debut last season, something I highly doubt either Henry or Johnson could duplicate that output. And this isn’t even breaching the debate between CDR and Williams, which isn’t a very heated one considering Williams didn’t even see the court last season.
Are any of these players going to “put the Lakers over the top” per se? Certainly not. But when it’s clear the team is taking a chance on some fliers, why not bring in CDR, who is still just 26 years old and has plenty of experience to build on. He can produce right away in the league, certainly more quickly than Harris and probably more than either Henry or Johnson. The Lakers still have an opportunity to bring CDR in, and none of this is to say they won’t. But with no rumblings of his signing, it’s at the very least confounding to wonder what’s so wrong about CDR.