The Los Angeles Lakers are gearing up for the 2023-24 season and the rotation is mostly set. The last question that fans need answered is who will be the fifth starter and it seems like Darvin Ham will give fans that answer on Thursday.
While most of the rotation is set in stone, the Lakers still have the ability to add any external help if there is an intriguing option that becomes available. Los Angeles has 14 players signed to the NBA roster, making room for one more addition.
It isn’t unheard of for a team to add a player so late in the preseason process. Heck, the Lakers signed Avery Bradley to a non-guaranteed deal one day before the start of the 2021-22 season. There still is time for LA to make a move if something interests the team.
Nothing that was previously available interested the team but there is a new name that may be on the market soon. The Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder just pulled off a trade that was essentially a Kevin Porter Jr. salary dump and in the trade, there was a very interesting name that went back to Houston: Victor Oladipo.
Victor Oladipo could be a smart flier for the Lakers to sign
If there is one position that the Lake Show could add to before the start of the season it is the shooting guard position. As of now, all the Lakers have is Austin Reaves and Max Christie to play the two guard.
That seems fine on paper but there is a world in which the depth at the position gets exposed. As great as Christie has looked in the Summer League and in the preseason, relying on a 20-year-old second-round pick in his second season could be a recipe for disaster.
Oladipo could help that depth in the long run and this would be a bigger-picture signing for the Lakers. Oladipo would not come in and instantly be a big part of the rotation as he is still recovering from a torn patellar injury that he suffered in April.
That being said, Shams Charania reported when the injury happened that there was optimism that Oladipo would be able to return to basketball activities in six months. That would indicate a return to activities in October and a potential return to the court before the end of 2023.
Oladipo’s injury status (and the fact that he would be getting paid a pretty penny already if he is bought out) would likely result in him getting a partially guaranteed or non-guaranteed deal. This makes him even more enticing for the Lakers, as there is no way it can backfire. If Oladipo cannot suit up and another need emerges the team can simply part ways at no additional cost.
On the flip side, the Lakers could get Oladipo in the building early, work with him in his recovery and potentially get an experienced two-guard that could be in the backend of the playoff rotation. Having that experienced option as a fallback plan over a second-year rookie is smart team building.