The Los Angeles Lakers have not made the best roster decisions over the last few seasons. While Rob Pelinka had an excellent trade deadline this year, the bad moves still outweigh the good moves if we are looking at the period past the 2020 NBA Championship.
One of the most frustrating trends that Pelinka has had in LA is giving up on players way too soon. Recent examples include Alex Caruso (for monetary reasons) and Stanley Johnson, who was just lumped into the original Patrick Beverley trade for absolutely no reason.
Yet another example of a promising player that slipped right through the Lakers’ fingers is painfully rearing its ugly head. Former LA big man Jay Huff was named the Kia G League Defensive Player of the Year this season. He started the season with the Lakers. He currently is with the Washington Wizards.
The Lakers could really use Jay Huff right now.
Los Angeles signed Huff to an Exhibit 10 contract early in the season as the team instead wanted to use the two-way roster spots on Cole Swider and Scotty Pippen Jr. After promising play for the South Bay Lakers, the Washington Wizards decided to sign Huff to a two-way contract in early March.
Huff excelling in the G League should prove that he can be capable of joining an NBA rotation. If that was not enough, his recent play for the Wizards should hammer the point home. In his first real game of the season where he got playing time, Huff scored 17 points with nine rebounds in 27 minutes. He shot three of six from beyond the arc.
In 30 minutes in his second game on Wednesday, he scored 14 points with four rebounds, three assists, three blocks and made two of three shots from beyond the arc. Huff is someone who can provide valuable defense near the rim and can stretch the floor on offense.
This is exactly what the Lakers need! Worse off, the team has had an open roster spot the entire time since it waived Matt Ryan. There was room to bring Huff into the fold and give him a run in the rotation to see what he was made of. But nope. The multi-billion-dollar sports franchise did not want to spend the extra luxury tax money, most likely.
It is painfully ironic considering Mo Bamba got hurt and the Lakers have been bullied by just about any team with size since. There is no such thing as too much depth, especially when said depth has earned a chance to prove his worth with strong play in the G League.
But alas, the Lakers just let Huff walk for nothing and now have to live with the decision of letting a cheap, cost-controlled rotation player walk away for nothing.