Akshita Patel


5 Best Centre Options Available For Lakers To Secure 14th Roster Spot Ahead Of 2023-23 NBA Season

As the summer break is reaching its conclusion, NBA teams are gearing up for the 2023-24 season after locking their respective roster. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers did an excellent job in the off-season by retaining the core of the new-look roster while adding a couple of supporters. However, before the new season commences, the club still has two empty slots to fill. They require a center to support their big man, Anthony Davis. Hence, here are some of the five best available options LA should consider.

1. Christian Wood

Christian Wood
Credit: AP

Former Mavericks center forward Christian Wood has been LA Lakers’ first choice. Wood has been linked to the team throughout the off-season. But both parties have been so far unable to reach a consensus. The center averaged 16.6 points, 1.8 assists, and 7.3 rebounds per game last season. He is a perfect frontcourt mate for Anthony Davis. While Wood’s defensive skills do not make it to his resume, he is an excellent shooter and playmaker. Hence, Christian Wood should be LA’s first choice. The only obstacle is the salary cap, as Wood is not expected to settle for the veteran minimum.


2. JaVale McGee

Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

Another Dallas Mavericks center forward is expected to hit the free agent market in the coming days. Mavericks are likely to waive JaVale McGee in the near future. McGee is an ideal candidate for the Lakers as he has shared court space with LeBron James and Anthony Davis before. He understands the culture of LA and will gel into the roster in no time. Speaking of stats, the center didn’t get to play much last season. In 8.5 minutes of average play time, JaVale scored 4.4 points, 0.3 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game. He is 35 but can come off the bench to support Davis as and when required.

3. Usman Garuba

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If the Los Angeles Lakers are looking for a long-term option, Usman Garuba is a perfect fit. He recently got waived by the Houston Rockets, who traded him last season for no reason. Garuba is just 20 and has been deprived of enough opportunities. With LA, the center will attain a chance to showcase the talent he possesses. For LA, Usman Garuba will be a big asset as he has improved his shooting skills from outside the three-point perimeter. Moreover, with Garuba, the salary cap won’t be an issue at all.

4. Bismack Biyombo

Bismack Biyombo
Getty Images

Centre forward Bismack Biyombo played for the Phoenix Suns last season and averaged 4.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 61 games. Bismarck is an elite defender, which will allow Anthony Davis to shift his focus on offense. Moreover, the center is 30 and can serve for the long term in LA. Hence, the Lakers should actively look to sign him this summer and lock the 14th roster spot.

5. Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson
Graphic via Kendrew Abueg / Silver Screen and Roll

Tristan Thompson is no longer the defender he used to be. But the center still has a lot to offer. The veteran didn’t play last year but did join the Lakers as a backup. He has a career average of 9.0 points, 1.0 assists, and 8.4 rebounds. Also, Thompson has a great bond with LeBron James and can gel well in the roster. He can serve as a backup center as best to Anthony Davis if and when the need arises. Moreover, Tristan could be lured into a veteran minimum contract as he has no active offers on the table. It would definitely be a cheap and steal deal for LA.