After trading Marc Gasol, the Lakers essentially have another roster spot that they can use before the season. The team currently has 13 players signed on the roster with many believing that they are saving the 15th roster spot for an in-season move. That leaves one more potential signing to make.
Training camp is also around the corner and the Lakers could bring several players into camp to compete for that 14th and final roster spot. It might not be the most impactful roster position on the team, but for an older team that is prioritizing depth, it does make a difference.
Faried has not played in the league since the 2018-19 season and has not played 40 games in a season since the 2016-17 season… five years ago. For that reason, many Laker fans probably had the exact same reaction when they saw the news that Faried was working out with the Lakers — confusion.
However, in giving it a deeper thought, one can see how Kenneth Faried might actually make sense for the Los Angeles Lakers.
Why the Kenneth Faried Lakers rumors might make sense for the team:
First of all, we have to lower our expectations for this roster spot. While there are some intriguing players still on the market, such as JJ Redick or Garrison Mathews, it is still the 14th roster spot we are talking about. We are six weeks removed from the start of free agency and the buyout that would have happened already happened.
The Lakers are not going to find some great free agent at this point in the process and bringing someone in just to see what they still have left is not bad at all.
Faried might work for the Lakers because of his position. Faried is considered by some to be a small-ball center but at his core, he is a power forward. He moved to be a small-call center for Houston because they played small. On the Lakers, he would be a four.
That distinction alone makes it easier to see why the Lakers might be interested in signing Faried to at least fight for a spot in training camp. The Lakers do not have a traditional backup power forward on the roster.
The team does have Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza that can play the four and are fine doing so in limited roles. However, it would be nice to have someone that could play power forward next to the centers on the roster, especially considering Anthony Davis is likely going to play more and more center as the year goes on to prepare for the playoffs.
Faried might not be a stretch four but if the plan is to play him in a limited capacity with Anthony Davis at the five then the floor spacing won’t be horrible. It is not a lineup the team would want in the playoffs, but it is fine in small regular-season spurts.
Faried fits a potential positional need on the Los Angeles Lakers. Whoever the team signs for this 14th roster spot is not going to get that much playing time anyway so it does not hurt to sign someone that can fit a hole on the roster.
And if Faried looks awful in workouts then they go another direction. If he looks good then it makes sense to have the conversation.
It might seem absurd, but I would not sleep on the Los Angeles Lakers rumors surrounding Kenneth Faried.