Lakers will work out DeMarcus Cousins, Meyers Leonard on Friday
The Lakers are early in the process of trying to fill their 15th and final guaranteed roster spot. Sterling Brown, who played for the Dallas Mavericks during the 2021-22 season, signed a 10-day contract with the Lakers on Jan. 6. Unless Brown is signed to a second 10-day or is signed to a contract for the remainder of the season, the Lakers will have an open roster spot next week.
On paper, it doesn’t make much sense for the Lakers to sign another center, as they currently employ three in Anthony Davis, Thomas Bryant and Damian Jones. However, due to Bryant’s emergence in the absence of Davis, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham has given serious thought to moving Davis back to the power forward position — where he has historically preferred playing — and starting Bryant at center.
“The way AD is able to function out on the perimeter, we don’t want him to be too far on that side; we want him to have a happy balance,” Ham told reporters on Wednesday. “They’re all very highly skilled players — Bron, AD, Thomas. They all can score at all three levels; they all can defend; they all can have good activity, good instincts. So, yeah, that’s something we’ll definitely take a look at.”
That opens the door for Cousins or Leonard to be the Lakers’ true backup center.
Neither Cousins nor Leonard have played in the NBA this season. Cousins last played for the Nuggets in the 2021-22 season and averaged 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, primarily off of the bench.
Leonard hasn’t suited up for a team since he was suspended and fined $50,000 for his use of an antisemitic slur while live-streaming on Twitch. Leonard was also recovering from an ankle injury that required surgery. In his last full season in the NBA, Leonard averaged 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, shooting 50.9% from the field and 41.4% from beyond the arc.
The Lakers currently sit 12th in the Western Conference with a record of 19-22.
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