The Lakers will regret not signing Darius Bazley
Darius Bazley isn’t a true center by the definition of the term but in today’s game, he definitely can be considered a five. The six-foot-eight Bazley looks more like a power forward and while he wouldn’t be able to battle Joel Embiid for 30 minutes, he definitely is a good small-ball five option.
That is what would have made him such a compelling fit on the Lakers with Hayes and Anthony Davis. Bazley is so much different than both of those bigs and could have played with one of them or without either of them and still produced.
The averages in Bazley’s short-lived NBA career do not jump off the page but there is legitimate potential for him to turn into a playoff-caliber rotation guy. The 23-year-old has a long frame and is one of the sneakiest shot-blockers in the league because of that frame. Add his 37.7% three-point rate last season and it is clear he could make an impact on both ends.
Bazley has untapped potential this early in his NBA career and if there is any team that could have tapped into Bazley it is the Lakers. Making the fit even more logical is the fact that Bazley is a Klutch Sports client. All the stars were aligned.
Yet it was not meant to be. Bazley signed a one-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets for the veteran minimum and the Lakers missed out on a potential hidden gem.