Hello Lakers nation.
My name is Trevor Lane, senior writer for lakers nation dot com.
And this is the Lakers Nation news feed.
Breaking down all the latest Lakers news.
Unfortunately, have some bad news t to delve into today.
We've got, of course, the DaMarcus cousins injury, which I'm sure you've heard about by now.
DeMarcus cousins tearing his a c L on his left knee, most likely season ending.
That's right, The Lakersseason hasn't even started.
We're still a few months away from the start of the season, and it looks like they've lost the guy who I thought was going to be their starting center.
Absolutely brutal, crushing blow for the Lakers.
And I know Lakers fans out there are feeling right now, especially after what they just endured last season with injuries to lungs a ball.
LeBron James, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart.
Basically everyone JaVale McGee.
Everyone was hurt, had some sort of injury or sickness or whatever.
And now start this season off has so much promise bringing in Anthony Davis and all these great pieces that rub pulling can put together toe lose DeMarcus cousins.
Already, it's a massive, massive blow to the Lakers, but we're not going to sit in a pity party for too long.
Instead, what we're gonna do today is we're going to start taking a look at some options for the Lakers.
What can they do to replace DeMarcus cousins? Gonna dive into it in just a moment.
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Okay, so I went ahead and made up a list of a few players the Lakers could target.
Now, here's the thing.
I think this Lakers team needs another center.
I think that much is very, very, very clear.
I've seen a few people talking about Well, you know, Anthony Davis is just gonna have to eat up four minutes and center Not happening.
It's not. It's just it's not gonna happen.
Look, Davis himself has said publicly several times over the last few weeks that he greatly prefers to play power forward.
He'll play center a little bit if he has to, but he doesn't really want you.
You'd rather play power forward, and that makes a ton of sense.
Look for the Lakers safe.
They probably wanted playing more minutes at power forward anyway, because they don't want the grind.
The physical toll on Anthony Davis.
And let's not forget Davis is a free agent, 2020.
You probably want to give the guy what he wants and let him play a role that he's comfortable in rather than force him to do something that he's not, and then have them have that bitter taste in his mouth the entire season and then headed in free agency and maybe have wandering eyes.
So I don't think the Lakers are just gonna turn to Anthony Davis and say Sorry.
Now you have to play center with DeMarcus cousins out Instead, I think they're gonna look for other options now. They did sign JaVale.
McGee got him locked up on a one year deal with another year on a player options 4,000,000 and then a four point 2,000,000 player option.
Obviously, if they didn't do that, they would be in big, big trouble at this point.
DeMarcus Cousins only had a one year, three point 5,000,000 deal.
I thought he was going to be the steal of the summer.
It would have been an incredible signing for them.
Would have been a great fit to with this floor spacing Instead, Now you'd have to imagine that JaVale McGee is most likely the Lakers starting center.
He'll be an interesting fit alongside Anthony Davis.
I think it works.
I worry a little bit about the floor spacing, but McGee and LeBron did have pretty good chemistry last season, so I think ultimately it's gonna work out.
But you need it, But you need a backup center.
You can't just turn to Anthony Davis and tell him to play.
All those minutes of five cow coups was not going to do it.
We saw that experiment last season, did not work.
Koosman doesn't have the size to do it.
Jared Dudley obviously isn't doing it.
Nobody that the Lakers have brought in can really do that permanently.
You can't ask him to play center permanently or anything like that, so they need to go find somebody else now.
Fortunately, the Lakers do have an open roster spot.
Still, they didn't burn it on anybody, and I know they still need to back up small forward.
So maybe they look at an Andre Iguodala later on down the line.
If he gets bought out from Memphis Grizzlies, I think that someone they're kind of holding out for right now, But they may need to go ahead and use that roster spot on a big for the time being.
And then when they find out what's going on with DeMarcus cousins, maybe eventually he gets waved.
If it's clear, he's definitely not coming back this season.
But I wouldn't I wouldn't close that door unless we know for sure that he's not coming back.
It's unlikely he comes back this season, but again, until they No.
100% I don't think I'd be ready to close that door just yet, so maybe they could make a move waving somebody like a like a guy on a minimum salary, like Troy Daniels or somebody like that in order to free a little bit more space for a wing later on.
If they decide to go ahead and burn their 15th and final roster spot on a big now.
I went through and took a look at some of the bigs that are out there right now and, well, it's slim pickings.
As you would imagine, free agency on the market in August.
The middle of August is I mean, it's pretty barren.
There's not a whole lot out there.
So let me just before I even start throw this out there.
There is no solution here.
There's no quick fix.
There is no one that's going to jump off the page and make you say, Wow, that's it.
Our problems are solved.
We've We've found our replacement.
That doesn't exist.
Okay, it's not out there.
And furthermore, the Lakers are gonna have a tough time trading for anybody that could fill the markets Cousins role because they burned so many of their assets to get Anthony David.
So there really are in a tough spot.
But that doesn't mean it's impossible, because guess what.
I've got my GM shirt on.
I am ready to roll.
I'm gonna start throwing out some names here first.
My honorable mentions guys that they could look at, but I don't think Think of their Ryan Anderson.
I think he's an interesting fit.
Can't play center defensively.
Can't play while just about anywhere defensively.
At this point, it's not his game, but he's a great shooter.
And given that the Lakers were gonna use DeMarcus cousins to space the floor, maybe you could make the argument.
I don't think they do. But interesting idea.
Measuring Who is getting up there in years? A little bit but can't protect the room.
We saw him unlimited minutes.
The Dallas Mavericks.
I think there's better options out there, but maybe Mersing.
Wouldn't that be ironic if the Clippers get if the Clippers have the Vincennes Zoo bots? And then the Lakers go and bring in forcing Gortat, who was the center that the Clippers cut in order to bring in abuses? You bots, By the way, how much worse does the pizzas you? That's trade feel now when the Lakers could have really used him a tte this point, but I don't think he's got the mobility at this point.
He looked like he was really struggling last season so I wouldn't go him, and you know what? What has been thrown out there quite a bit.
I even have a radio show that I was on today through this one out there. Carmelo Anthony.
They said, Does this mean that Carmelo Anthony gets picked up now by the Lakers? I don't think so. Okay.
Yes, you could say the Lakers need something they need to bring in someone else.
Someone That was some firepower and all of that, and that makes a little bit of sense.
But I think you need a like for, like, swap here. You need a big.
The Lakers need a big Carmelo Anthony doesn't give them a position of meat at all.
He's not a three in D Wing that could go and defend the league's best best wingman.
And he's certainly not a center.
So I think the Lakers need those two things.
Carmelo Anthony just doesn't really fit there, much as I'd like to see Carmelo get another shot somewhere.
So here they are, the big 33 players that I think that the Lakers should indeed look at and I'm gonna kick off this list with a guy who I like quite a bit, actually.
And that is the Manimal Kenneth Faried.
Kenneth Faried at one point was one of the best up and coming young bigs in the league.
I mean, even played with Team U.
This is a guy who had a ton of energy, could fly up and down the floor.
I mean, they called him Animal for a real reason Super high motor and and did some really impressive stuff.
But then the lead kind of passed him by.
We saw the N B a sort of evolved where Biggs, his size he only 68 needed to be able to do things off the bounce, make passes after after attacking close outs, they had to be able to shoot from outside, and he struggles in those areas.
So Farid kind of fell by the wayside.
In fact, the Denver Nugget it's on a salary.
Dump him last summer on the Brooklyn Nets, and then the Brooklyn Nets waved him in January and it looked like that was gonna be it looks like he was gonna be done.
I mean, like he's 29 years old and Kenneth Faried It looked like his n b A career was all but over.
And then he got picked up by the Houston Rockets.
Clint Capela got injured.
And next thing you know, Kenneth Faried started most of February for the Houston Rockets.
But a brilliant ice numbers.
In fact, he put up 14.
6 boards on average in the month of February.
Worse while starting for the Houston Rockets.
And this is the reason why I bumped him upon my last year.
He actually thought shot 35% from three.
He's career high, 35% from three now.
He only took 30.
8 shots point per game, so this is an extremely tiny sample size.
But if the Lakers are convinced that Kenneth Faried is for real as being able to shoot from outside, even if you could just be respectable just a little bit, this is a guy who could really, really fit.
Now again, he's only six foot eight, so he's not gonna be a RIM protector.
Not gonna do any of those things that the Lakers need from him, so that's a little bit of negative.
But he does have a little bit of switch ability to him.
He can step out on point guards a little bit at least hedge better than some of the other guys on this list will be able to, because he is a bit quicker.
He's also younger than any well want anyone else that's gonna be on this list in just 29 years old? I think he still has a little bit Maurin his tank than some of these other players again.
Not perfect by any means, but this is a guy who can battle on the boards, can provide a ton of energy, and you throw him in for 10 15 minutes a game behind JaVale McGee.
And then Anthony Davis takes up the other few minutes here and there in center.
You know what? There be worse rotations in the league, that's for sure.
So Kenneth Faried is a guy who I think they should strongly consider looking at moving on to the next player on the list.
I've got a guy who is a former defensive player of the year.
Two time All Star Joachim Noah joke team.
1 of the better centers in the N B A.
His ability to hit the boards, his ability to rebound and his ability to pass We're all extremely, extremely high.
And he was a A star basically for the Chicago Bulls.
And then things started to fall apart.
When he signed with the New York Knicks, he became one of the worst contracts in the N B A to the point where they eventually waved and stretched his contract.
But as happens sometimes, we saw it with Farid.
Noah found a new home with the Memphis Grizzlies, and it looked like it revitalized him, brought some new life back into his game, and we saw him starting to do some of the things that he had done back when he was with Chicago.
We saw him starting to really battle on the boards.
He was doing a great job there.
His defense was good, in fact, with the Memphis Grizzlies last season joking, No, it was in the seventies percentile defensively, purse energy.
That is really good.
He only played 16.
5 minutes per game, so that's not a lot 34 years old.
This isn't a guy that you can count on to play a ton of minutes, but again, coming off the bench behind Javale McGee.
You could certainly do worse than a guy like Joe Kim? No, it's an intriguing edition.
He cannot shoot from outside at all.
He can't stretch the floor.
It's not like Fareed, where you kind of wonder Maybe he can stretch the floor a little bit every once in a while. No.
Is not that guy, but for somebody to at least come in and play maybe kind of a Tyson Chandler s role, like we saw with the Lakers last season.
Come in sets, um, hard screens do is do some dirty work on the boards and then occasionally get a put back here.
That's about what you'd be expecting. Out of joking.
No. And he could be a fit in that regard.
Now, he has had some issues with LeBron James in the past.
But you know what? If LeBron James can play alongside Lance Stephenson like you did last season, I'm not going to count out the idea that he could play next season alongside joking.
No, it's so maybe that's an option for them.
The last one on the list.
Let me just put this out there.
I'm going to say that.
Don't come after me.
I will I'm gonna I'm gonna be ducking, as as I put this graphic up.
But this one is, uh it's a sore subject.
Dwight Howard is the next guy on this list, and I did everything I could to keep him off of here because I know, I know out Lakers fans feel about Dwight Howard.
Trust me, I get it.
Dwight Howard was a Laker for one season, the 2012 2013 season, and, uh then he left, and free agency left the Lakers high and dry.
There were the stage white billboards put up around Los Angeles.
The Lakers look terrible because they lost a free agent to the Houston Rockets and on and on and on.
He clashed with Kobe while he was in L.
Yeah, look, I get it.
Lakers fans still have a bad taste in the mouth over what happened with Dwight Howard all those years ago, but in terms of upside, Dwight Howard might offer the most out of anybody that I've talked about so far today, and that's that's not underselling it, because look, he is.
He is the definition of high risk, high reward.
Last season with the Washington Wizards.
He only played nine games.
He had a back issue early, couldn't get himself right.
Of course, now he's been saying all the right things about how he feels great. He feels wonderful.
He's got his body right, all of that.
He says that just about every offseason, though, how he's looking forward to a fresh start as he moves from team to team.
But here's the intriguing thing.
Dwight Howard Not last season, but the season before last with the Charlotte Hornets averaged 16.
6 points and 12.
5 rebounds, starting and played in 81 games that season 81.
So that means he only missed one game as a Charlotte Hornet.
That is incredible for Dwight Howard, and if the Lakers have any sort of a sense that maybe that's still in there, that maybe he really is back to full health, he's not gonna have a season like the one he had in Washington.
But instead he's got another season in him, like he had with the Charlotte Hornets.
You have to look at him there because that upside is so high he could be a monster on the board.
Still no he's not the rim protector.
It's not a no fly zone around the basket like it was when used with the Orlando Magic.
This is a guy who relied on his athleticism for so long for so long to carry him and never really developed the skills that he needed at the N B A level.
But that doesn't mean he still can't do some good things out there on the floor.
He's great on the boards.
He can set some screens when he's motivated and look, I get it.
It's a major, major, major risk.
But if the Lakers were somehow convinced that Dwight Howard is back, that he is fully healthy and that he is willing to play whatever role the team is asking him to play and I get those there are a lot of really big ifs.
Maybe, just maybe, they should give a look at Dwight Howard and look, I get it, guys, I can't even believe I'm saying that.
But here we are.
Like I said, the market is extremely thin and you can't afford to close the door on anybody at this point.
Regardless of the past Emily, it would be interesting is certainly to see how Lakers fans would respond to Dwight Howard after all these years.
And given what the history is, all right, that's gonna about Do it, guys. Let me know what you think.
Fire off some comments.
Who do you think the Lakers should go after? Do you agree with me that you should put you should go after Kenneth Faried is? I think he'd be number one on my list out of these guys.
Or should they look somewhere else? Are you willing to forgive Dwight Howard at this point? Is he the guy that to go with? Do you throw joking? No.
And LeBron James together and hope that they can figure out a way to make up? Or is there something that I'm forgetting about someone else that they could go after that? You like better than that I listed here.
Go ahead, fire off some comments down below, let me know.
Interested to see what you guys think again? Tough, tough day Lakers fans.
I'm right there with you.
It's ah, it's a brutal one.
But you know what? We're gonna get through it just like we always do and hopefully rob pulling and the Lakers? We'll be able to find a replacement in the middle for DeMarcus cousins that can at least keep the team intact and then keep them rolling.
Moving forward here, guys for more on this story and everything else going on in the world of Los Angeles Lakers, make sure you head over to lakers nation dot com.
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Guys, my name's Trevor Lane.
You can follow me on Twitter at Trevor Underscore Lane, CIA.