The Los Angeles Lakers are preparing to tip-off their NBA Summer League campaign on Friday night in Las Vegas against the New Orleans Pelicans, giving fans their first glimpse at newly drafted rookies Brandon Ingram and Ivica Zubac in purple and gold.
While the young group prepares for summer league play, though, the front office is still seeking moves to round out the roster. Wednesday, the Lakers swooped in and absorbed the contract of Jose Calderon when they acquired him and two future draft picks in a trade with the Chicago Bulls, who needed to clear cap space to sign Dwyane Wade.
So far, all of the Lakers’ new additions have all followed a similar pattern, being that they have focused primarily on adding veteran players that could help mentor the team’s young core. After adding Calderon, 34, Los Angeles may have their eyes on a veteran front court player, according to ESPN’s Marc Spears.
NBA free agent forward-center Drew Gooden has received inquiries from New York, Toronto, Lakers & Clippers, source said.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) July 7, 2016
The Lakers have obviously made it a point of emphasis to add veterans to the roster, but this is one that would not make a ton of sense. Gooden will turn 35 just four days before Calderon will, but the team’s front court rotation would appear to be set already.
At center, the Lakers will likely start Timofey Mozgov with Tarik Black and the rookie Zubac backing him up. Julius Randle, Larry Nance, Jr. and Loul Deng will probably take up all of the minutes at the four, especially since Deng proved to be very effective last season as a small-ball power forward that can space the floor, something Luke Walton will seemingly utilize.
Last season for the Wizards, Gooden brought very little to the table in terms of on-court production. He averaged 2.7 points on 32 percent shooting to go along with 2.8 rebounds in just 10.2 minutes per game.
Perhaps the Lakers feel like Gooden could serve as another good locker room presence as someone that has been in the league for several years, but on the surface, the team would be better off pursuing options elsewhere.
All stats courtesy of NBA.com.