The Los Angeles Lakers have done a great job this summer in building a rotation that has improved from last season. As it stands right now, there are 13 players on LA’s roster with room to sign two more.
Rob Pelinka himself has confirmed that the Lakers are actively looking for another center with a different skill set from Jaxson Hayes. The only problem is that the center market is very dry with the polarizing Christian Wood being the biggest name available.
Perhaps the Lakers’ big-man signing is not yet on the market, though. There are several teams that have more than 15 players on the roster. These teams will have to waive players to make room, which could give the Lakers an opportunity to land a hidden gem.
Out of all the teams in the league, the one team that the Lake Show could be monitoring is the Oklahoma City Thunder. OKC currently has 20 players on the roster and it appears as if teams are already keeping an eye out to see who the Thunder will waive.
There are several younger players that could make sense in LA but there is one more experienced role player that could end up being a home-run hidden gem acquisition for the purple and gold.
Davis Bertans would be a great Lakers signing if waived by the Thunder
Davis Bertans is viewed as a sunken-cost at this point in his career. Dallas traded assets to OKC to get him off the books for the 2023-24 season and now Bertan represents one of the biggest salary figures on the books.
The Thunder needed to get to the salary floor, though, and just because they traded for him does not mean the team has plans to play him. After all, the team has a lot of young talent in the frontcourt and taking minutes away from those players for Bertans wouldn’t make much sense.
OKC can also theoretically save more money with a buyout since Bertans’ salary ($17 million) is larger. The Thunder have already shown that they are leaning towards waiving the more expensive veteran options as evidenced by the team’s move to waive Rudy Gay this week.
While Bertans might not be worth the salary he was getting paid, he certainly would be worth a flier for the Lake Show. He is not a traditional center but adds frontcourt depth at the four and can also play some small-ball center in various lineups.
Bertans offers the floor-spacing presence in the frontcourt that the Lakers are looking for as he is a career 39.8% shooter on 4.7 attempts per game. He has shot as high as 42.4% in 8.7 attempts per game with Washington. Bertans is about as good as the team can get in terms of floor-spacing bigs.
He would undoubtedly be available and affordable for the Lakers because he is a sunk cost. Bertans looks a lot better as a league-minimum guy than a $17 million guy and it would not be crazy to think that the Lakers’ coaching staff could bring back a similar version of the Bertans that earned that contract in the first place.