Things have been solid for the Los Angeles Lakers since the NBA trade deadline. While the team has come back down to earth some over the last few games, a strong surge with a new roster has at least put LA in a position to extend its season past the regular season.
As it stands right now, the Lakers are the 11th seed in the Western Conference. They are half a game behind the 8th-10th seeded teams in the West, are one game behind the 7th seed and are 1.5 games behind the 6th seed. Anything can happen in LA’s final 10 games.
All that makes the team’s recent roster decision a bit disheartening. Los Angeles worked out two centers in Tony Bradley and Tristan Thompson this week and following the workout, head coach Darvin Ham put to bed any hope that the team would sign either of the big men.
The team has an open roster spot so it is not like LA would have to cut anyone to make room for an incoming center. And with Mo Bamba out with injury, the team does not have a true backup center. This is on full display when LA rests Anthony Davis on the second leg of back-to-backs.
Lakers not signing Tristan Thompson or Tony Bradley shows they aren’t serious about winning.
Let’s make one thing clear: neither Tristan Thompson or Tony Bradley are going to be the difference between the Lakers winning the title and not making the playoffs at all. Let’s get that out of the way. This is by no means meant to be a defense of either of those centers, who did not have a job before this workout.
However, it does show that the team’s priorities, at least at the top, probably factor in the financial situation more so than whether or not this can help the team win.
This is a very obvious need for the Los Angeles Lakers. This team has no true size depth behind Anthony Davis and the minutes in which he is not playing or not on the court have been brutal. There is only so much that Wenyen Gabriel can do as a smaller center that also cannot space the floor.
Just having an option off the bench to throw on the court can open things up for the Lakers and prevent any potential disastrous runs from happening. After all, every single game at this point in the season matters and we have already seen the team lose two games because of this problem.
They lost against Houston because AD wasn’t playing and they had no one else to play. They lost against Dallas because AD was so gassed from playing 37 minutes that he was not sharp in the closing moments of the game.
There are no other additional moves the team has to make. They do not have to cut anyone to make room or anything of that nature. All they need is for Jeanie Buss to open her checkbook and pay someone less than a million dollars to finish out the season.
Adding a center makes all the basketball sense in the world. So not adding one? It is hard not to point toward external factors at the top.