The Los Angeles Lakers have had an open roster spot since the team waived Matt Ryan early in the season. Despite there being several promising potential buyout candidates, the team has not ultimately made use of the open roster spot.
It looked like the team was going to potentially use it on a center in Tristan Thompson or Tony Bradley, both of which worked out for the Lakers. However, Darvin Ham’s team decided not to bring in either big man.
Prior to those workouts, there was a different player that the Lakers were potentially targeting to add center depth. Veteran big man Meyers Leonard was reportedly on the Lakers’ radar and even worked out with the team in January. He ultimately signed with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Lakers insider Jovan Buha essentially confirmed that there was indeed interest there from the Lake Show.
"“The Lakers had an interest in signing Meyers Leonard, whom they worked out on Jan 13., before he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for the rest of the season, according to league sources who were not authorized to speak on potential signings.”"
Lakers avoided likely controversy in not signing Meyers Leonard.
Leonard, who has played in six games for the Bucks and has averaged 8.5 minutes per game this season, has not played since the 2020-21 season in which he logged only three games played.
The former 11th overall pick was suspended indefinitely by the Miami Heat in March 2021 after he used an anti-semitic slur during a live stream on Twitch. Leonard was then traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder as “salary filler” and was swiftly released from the team.
Milwaukee definitely turned heads for being the team that signed Leonard after a two-year absence away from the sport, especially considering there were other center options available that could have come in and played eight minutes a game for the team.
The Lakers are still searching for a center that could fill out the roster as they too need a depth option that can come in and play 8-10 minutes a game after Mo Bamba’s injury.
Regardless of who the team signs (if they sign anyone), it will be a better option than bringing Leonard in.