Why the Sekou Doumbouya signing is just what the Lakers needed

The countdown is officially on. In exactly one week, the Los Angeles Lakers will be preparing to take on the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center for the start of the 2021-22 NBA regular season.

The Lakers have gone winless throughout the first four games of the preseason and aren’t done making roster moves. Los Angeles and free-agent forward Sekou Doumbouya agreed to a two-way contract on Tuesday.

The Lakers desperately needed to make an addition to the roster after losing power forward Trevor Ariza for at least the first two months of the season after he underwent surgery on his ankle. Los Angeles was on a mission to fill its gaping power forward void and decided to do so with the No. 15 pick in the 2019 draft. The talent is there and there’s no question about that.

Sekou Doumbouya signs two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakers

Frank Vogel and the Los Angeles Lakers should be breathing a sigh of relief right now. Sekou Doumbouya definitely isn’t the answer to all of the Lakers’ current issues, but the team just took a step in the right direction. Doumbouya spent his first two seasons in the league with the Detroit Pistons, where he averaged 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 94 games.

The Brooklyn Nets acquired Sekou at the beginning of September as part of the DeAndre Jordan trade, but he was then traded to the Houston Rockets last week after barely spending a month in New York. The Rockets waived Doumbouya, paving the way for Los Angeles to step in and pick him up.

Sekou was regarded as the best international player in the 2019 draft and it was sort of a shock that he fell all the way to No. 15. However, his play in Detroit didn’t necessarily do him any favors. That’s not entirely his fault, though, because the Pistons organization isn’t known for their ability to develop young players, much less win games.

Doumbouya signing with the Lakers is a blessing in disguise for both parties. Los Angeles is adding depth at the power forward position and Sekou has the opportunity to play for an organization that is well-known for successfully developing young talent. It’s a win-win. Not to mention, if he flourishes in purple and gold, it’ll come back to bite the Nets.

Doumbouya was born in Guinea, but grew up in Paris. He joined the LNB Pro A, France’s top basketball league, in May of 2018. In his final year spent playing internationally, he averaged 7.5 points and 3.2 rebounds over the course of the 28 games that he played in.

Last year, he averaged 5.1 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, so Sekou has plenty of room to improve in the Lakers’ organization. After landing with his third team in the past month alone, Doumbouya’s athleticism and offensive impact will be able to come to fruition with Los Angeles. If there’s an organization that can save his career, it’s the Lakers.

The Los Angeles Lakers just got better and after all, that is the goal, right?