Lakers

Akshita Patel

NBA

CHECKOUT: Thunders’ Recently Waived Centre Could Be A Perfect Fit For The Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers came close to winning a championship last season but fell short by fine margins. The Denver Nuggets proved to be a far better team in the Western Conference finals series and hence emerged victorious. Nonetheless, LA took a lot of positives from the rollercoaster season. While trying to fix issues during the trade deadline, they found their core.

The same core was retained during the off-season as the likes of Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura secured long-term extension deals. Having said that, the Lakers still have two open spots on the 15-man roster. Moreover, the front office is likely to secure at least one of those two before the commencement of the coming season. Amid this, a likable candidate has emerged in the market.

   

Thunders Release Centre Usman Garuba, Opportunity For Lakers To Secure 14th Roster Spot

Usman Garuba
Credits: USA Today Network

The Los Angeles Lakers front office is actively looking to fill the 14th roster spot. Apparently, the team is looking to add an additional center option. Rob Pelinka, LA’s general manager, confirmed the same two weeks ago. However, since then, the center has depleted significantly. With the kind of bare minimum salary cap, LA has been left with, securing a high-end name would be seemingly impossible. Hence, the team might target a low-buy, high-potential candidate. Amid this, a young center option has emerged in the free agent market. Oklahoma City Thunders recently waived off 21-year-old center Usman Garuba as they were well over their 15-man roster cap.

The Spanish center-forward played for Real Madrid earlier before joining NBA in the 2021 draft. He was drafted by Houston Rockets, who traded him to Oklahoma in 2023. Usman Garuba was never in Thunders’s plans and was traded just as a backup. Hence, his waiver should not come as a surprise. Meanwhile, the Lakers have a perfect opportunity to fill in their 13th roster spot by signing Garuba. He is good at floor spacing and has a 40% three-shooting percentage in a minimal sample size. Usman also has elite defensive skills and can fit in as a solid two-way rotation player. Garuba is young with loads of potential stores. So far, he has been deprived of an opportunity that LA can serve in the near future. Also, the 21-year-old can fit well within the salary cap of the purple and gold.

James Harden Linked To LA Amid All-Out War With 76ers

James Harden
Credit : Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to PG James Harden as the latter has declared an all-out war with his current team, the Philadelphia 76ers. Harden is unhappy with the 76ers’ high authorities and publicly declared an all-out war. He repeatedly affirmed of not wanting to be a part of the Philadelphia organization.

Amid this, the point guard has been linked to the Lakers. He is a veteran and could assist LA in floor spacing. It’s worth noting that Harden led the league in the number of assists per game. While James Harden is way past his prime, the veteran could still come in handy to LA and serve as a bench backup.