The Los Angeles Lakers have done a wonderful job in free agency thus far but the job is not finished. While the current core is very talented, Rob Pelinka has all but confirmed that there is more work to be done.
Pelinka said that the team has met its offseason goals but is still actively pursuing the free-agent market for an additional center. According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, two centers that the team is potentially interested in bringing in are Christian Wood and Bismack Biyombo.
Each of those options comes with its own pros and cons, which is indicative of the center market as a whole. The market is very thin right now and it wouldn’t hurt if the Lakers exercised patience and waited for new names to hit the market as the offseason develops.
NBA teams have to trim the roster down to 15 players and that will create an entirely new market of players for the Lakers to comb through. In a perfect world, the Washington Wizards could give the Lakers exactly what Pelinka said the team is looking for: someone who has a different skill set than Jaxson Hayes.
Mike Muscala would be a perfect Lakers free-agent target if waived by the Wizards
Washington currently has 16 players on the roster with Muscala being one of the new faces. Muscala was acquired in the three-team Marcus Smart trade as contract filler and at his age, he likely does not love the idea of playing for a tanking team.
The Wizards could do Muscala and his agent a favor and either buy him out to allow him to sign with a contending team. If he does hit the market, he checks multiple boxes for the Lakers while also getting the chance to win a championship.
Muscala is about as different as it comes from Hayes. Not a traditional center, Muscala would give the Lakers a stretch five option that can hit shots, which is exactly what the team is looking for. Muscala is a career 37.9% three-point shooter and has shot over 40% in the last two seasons.
He is not going to hold up against the bigger traditional centers but his rebounding is still good enough off the bench. At his age, he might not be able to give the Lakers 25 minutes a game but that is not what the team needs at all. All the Lake Show needs is someone to give 15 or so minutes a night and knock down some shots.
It would be a fitting addition for the Lake Show as well as the team would be bringing back the player it traded Ivica Zubac for. Muscala didn’t quite work out the first time in LA but Pelinka has a tendency to bring back former Lakers. In a lesser role, Muscala could really thrive in LA next season.