The Los Angeles Lakers currently have 13 players signed to the active roster after a stellar showing in NBA free agency. General manager Rob Pelinka confirmed that the team is going to make more additions as LA is actively seeking another center in free agency.
The current options on the market are not great with the polarizing Christian Wood being the most talented option. That being said, Wood doesn’t seem like he would ever work out for the Lakers because of the reduced role the team would ask him to play.
There is potential for the team to wait for waived or bought-out players to sign, which can yield some decent results. If the Lakers do not want to wait around for a bought-out player, though, the team could instead reunite with a familiar face that maybe should not have left in the first place.
Jay Huff could be the answer that the Lakers need at center
Despite thriving with the South Bay Lakers and even winning the G League Defensive Player of the Year last season, Huff never really got a chance to prove himself in Los Angeles. The Washington Wizards scooped Huff up last season with a two-way deal, giving him 13 games of runway to earn his next NBA deal.
Washington did not extend Huff a qualifying offer, making him a free agent this offseason. Huff signed with the Houston Rockets for the Summer League but is still free to sign a standard (or two-way) contract with any team.
Huff could be the perfect option for the Lakers at center for multiple reasons. He has familiarity with the organization, he offers the floor-spacing outlook that the team wants so he isn’t redundant with Jaxson Hayes and he could probably be signed to a non-guaranteed contract.
Huff could be a solid stop-gap option that the Lakers do not have to fully commit to. He does not have much of a market so a non-guaranteed contract should do the trick. This could allow the team to sign another free agent to get the roster to 15 then once a better option comes along, the Lakers could get rid of Huff if need be.
And if he proves himself then he will simply earn a roster spot and be part of the rotation. Either way, it is a win-win for the Lakers and is the best way to maximize the roster spot for the time being.
In 28 G League games last season, Huff averaged 15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game while shooting 40.4% from three. That is everything the Lakers want out of a third center and the team should finally give Huff his chance.