The Los Angeles Lakers had a terrific second half of the 2022-23 NBA season. From being a 13th-seeded team in the West to playing the conference finals, the purple and gold came a long way. All the credit goes to the new-look roster, who made a deep postseason run possible with heartwarming energy and dedication.
Meanwhile, as the off-season kicked off, the Lakers wasted no time in locking their roster for the next season. As expected, Rob Pelinka restored the core of the new-look roster. Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell, and Rui Hachimura receive massive extension contracts. While Hollywood has locked their key roster, Pelinka still has two roster spots to fill, and a former six-time all-star is being linked for the 14th spot.
NBA Writers Links Lakers To Former Clippers Forward Blake Griffin
The Los Angeles Lakers are likely to fill in their 14th roster spot before commencing the training camp. Former Mavericks veteran Christian Wood has been actively linked. However, the lack of funds poses a massive roadblock. As per the current payroll, the purple and gold cannot offer anything above a veteran minimum contract. Hence, as per Ben Stinar of Sports Illustrated, Hollywood must go for former six-time all-star power forward Blake Griffin. Griffin is well versed in the sporting culture of LA as he spent almost a decade with Clipper. The 34-year-old played for Celtics last season and remains a prized free agent.
Ben Stinar believes that Blake Griffin has transitioned well into becoming a veteran off the bench. The Lakers could use him as a backup power forward. Moreover, Blake can also act as a mentor to young guns and put his storied experience to good use. And to stay fair, LA cannot afford a better player for a low salary cap than Blake Griffin. Speaking of numbers, he played 44 games last season and averaged 4.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Apart from this, Griffin has a career average of 19 points, four assists, and eight rebounds. While Griffin is no Christian Wood, it’s the best free agent market has to offer to Los Angeles Lakers.
Anthony Davis Reportedly Agrees To Extension With LA
On the other hand, the Lakers are contemplating long-term moves. As per a report from ESPN, Anthony Davis has agreed to a three-year $186 million extension contract with LA. If this deal goes through, it could become the NBA’s richest-ever annual extension at $62 million. Earlier, the purple and gold were skeptical as AD’s troubling injury history posed a big roadblock.
However, Anthony Davis’ resilience during last season’s playoffs moved the Lakers’ front office, especially general manager Rob Pelinka. With LeBron James’ future uncertain, the purple and gold sees AD as the new leader. Of course, these rumors are conjectures for now. The training camp is weeks away as we await an official confirmation from the club or AD likewise.