Monday Mailbag: Lakers end of bench options

Image: Chris O’Meara / Associated Press

Welcome back to Mailbag Mondays! We are in the dog days of basketball and the Los Angeles Lakers activities are few and far between. As time winds down to training camp, we take a look at the light news and connect a few dots. Let’s answer some of the questions from fans that covet the aforementioned content.

Marc Gasol is rumored to be considering a stay in Spain, per Marc Stein. If he does so, that leaves the staring center role unfilled. With the Lakers having limited youth on their roster, I say take a flyer on Harry Giles. All signs point to Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard soaking up most of the center minutes. Giles is an extremely talented big whose been robbed of NBA success by early injury. He possesses good size at 6-10, and has some underrated passing ability. He will also be very affordable given the opportunity to win a title and boost his stock. If he can bring anything, you can’t be mad at them taking a chance on a 23 year old.

The Lakers have done the bulk of their free agency work. The team has the opportunity to take 20 players to training camp. The total that they can carry is cemented at 15 spots for the actual season. This leaves three of them that are unoccupied at the moment. Our concern about those spots is all about shiny toys. We want something new at every turn. Somewhere in the shuffle we forget that players getting added this late on the roster means nearly nothing. They’re largely camp bodies, who may catch on — and that depends on an amazing breakout.

Two players fit this bill for the Lakers: Kendrick Nunn and Wayne Ellington. Nunn is a slight guard in size, but can definitely get on the move. Rather than have him head up a defense, I envision the Lakers allowing him to use his speed, like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope — granted, he’s not as good as a defender as KCP. Ellington is somewhat the same. He’s obviously older and not as fast, but it’s more of the mirror effect. Ellington’s game is predicated on handoffs and coming off screens. I can see where the Lakers would allow him to take those assignments of players who have similar offensive habits as he does. All in all, it’ll take a combined effort from all their guards to keep them defensively grounded.

Great questions from NBAMotiv23 and illuminativapor! We hope we answered them and got your gears going.

That’ll do it for this week’s mailbag. Thank you everyone for your questions. Remember the quality of these is only as good as the questions we receive so keep them coming on Twitter or through our e-mail!

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