The Los Angeles Lakers have done a great job during NBA free agency thus far but the job is not finished. With 13 players on the roster, the Lakers have the means to add more talent. General manager Rob Pelinka confirmed that the team was active in the free-agent center market.
Los Angeles is looking for someone with a different skillset than Jaxson Hayes, meaning that they are looking for someone who can space the floor. With that descriptor in mind, Christian Wood has become heavily connected to the Lakers. That being said, there are reasons to avoid Wood, including potential pushback from a prominent Lakers player.
The rest of the market is not great for the purple and gold and the team might simply be waiting for a more exciting option to become available. We have already outlined a dream target from the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have over 20 players on the roster as of now.
While that dream target may not become available as a buyout target before the season, there is a younger center from the same team with potential that Pelinka may hitch his wagon to.
The Lakers should sign Oliver Sarr with Thunder seemingly uninterested
Oliver Sarr is not one of the 20 players currently rostered in OKC and doesn’t seem to be returning to the team, especially if Bertans is staying. There is too much talent and depth in the frontcourt for Sarr to get any semblance of minutes.
The Thunder could keep Sarr in the organization with another two-way deal but we could also see the team do the same thing that the Lakers did with Cole Swider. Los Angeles could’ve just kept Swider on his two-way deal but instead, decided to give him a chance to get playing time somewhere else as that path was not there for him.
Sarr currently is not signed to a two-way deal so the Lakers don’t have to hope for that exactly. They just have to hope that he is part of the fat that the Thunder trim off the roster. While he won’t change the team’s title projections, he is a young promising center who offers what the Lakers are looking for.
Sarr has the ability to space the floor but also does not sacrifice any rim protection in the process. The six-eleven big man is not a dynamic defender but he is far better than Wood. He is someone who could theoretically play next to Anthony Davis because of his ability to defend the paint on defense and space the floor on offense.
Sarr has played 31 NBA games in his career and in those games, he is shooting 37.8% from three while averaging 1.3 blocks and 8.3 rebounds per 36 minutes. In the G League last season, Sarr shot 44% from beyond the arc while averaging 2.4 blocks and 8.8 rebounds in 24.9 minutes per game.
His college numbers back up his potential as well. In his senior season with Kentucky, Sarr shot 44.4% from beyond the arc with 1.2 blocks and 5.2 rebounds per game (25.1 minutes per game). His ability to space the floor while also providing a traditional center outlook is very obviously there.
Will Sarr come to LA and turn into this amazing two-way player that becomes a prominent part of the playoff rotation? Probably not. Can he play 15 minutes a game, knock down his shots and most importantly, buy into his role and not cause distractions? Absolutely.