Christian Wood, Tristan Thompson

It’s been just one week since the off-season has kicked off, and the Los Angeles Lakers have already set up their roster. On Thursday, the purple and hold officially retained Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell and added Gabe Vincent, Jaxson Hayes, Cam Reddish, and rookie Jalen Hood-Schifino to the final roster.

Considering LeBron James and Anthony Davis continue to be a part of the Lakers for the next season, the team has two spots left to fill on the final roster. Moreover, Jovan Buha of the Athletic reported earlier that LA “is targeting another big man with its 14th roster spot.” The team is looking to have 14 confirmed deals while leaving one roster spot open as per tradition. Now, a former NBA veteran champion is the front-runner for the spot. But the team needs to be a little cautious.


Lakers Must Try To Land Christian Wood Over Tristan Thompson

Christian Wood
Credit: AP

Tristan Thompson, a former NBA champion and 12-year veteran, joined the Los Angeles Lakers roster during the last stretch of the 2022-23 season. However, the center forward failed to gain any time on the court and entered the off-season as a free agent. Meanwhile, as LA gears up to lock in the 14th roster spot, Thompson has emerged as the front-runner. He meets the Lakers’ criteria to a large extent. The former champion is a veteran, a strong defender, and has extensive experience playing alongside LeBron James. However, the one thing Tristan lacks is the offense. On the offensive front, he has almost nothing to offer. On top of that, he has not been regular since 2021, owing to injury concerns. LA already has Anthony Davis suffering from health issues. Hence they are in no need of additional headaches.

Instead of Tristan Thompson, the Lakers should prioritize landing Mavericks center forward Christian Wood. While he may not be a strong defender, the forward has a lot to offer on the offense. Last season, he averaged 16.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks while spending an average of 25.9 minutes per game on the court. Moreover, Wood is also the only top center left on the market. The only problem is his high payroll. Wood made $14.3 million last year, and the Lakers right now have only the bare minimum to offer. Having said that, Wood has not received much buzz on the market so far. Hence, the purple and gold can convince him to join a star-stubbed team and up his stakes in LA with an opportunity to fight for the title.

Mo Bamba Goes Off The Market After Signing With 76ers

Mo Bamba
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Meanwhile, the Lakers also had an interest in re-signing Mo Bamba after waiving him off ahead of the off-season. The team acquired the young lad during the trade, but his time on the court was restricted due to injuries. As a result, the purple and gold decided to waive him off. However, since Bamba didn’t receive much buzz, the Lakers considered buying him back in a minimum contract.

But, the Philadelphia 76ers spoiled the Laker’s plans as they signed Mo Bamba in a one-year deal. Further details of the contract have not been revealed just yet. So far, Bamba looks more of a security option for the 76ers if they lose restricted free agent Paul Reed. Overall, it’s a setback for LA as they still wander to fill up the remaining two roster spots.