The Los Angeles Lakers are searching far and wide for players with which to fill out their final roster spots. Big names such as Isaiah Thomas and Darren Collison have already worked out for them, and now, according to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha, we can add one more prominent name to the list: former Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried. He will reportedly work out for the Lakers this week.
On the surface, Faried is a somewhat odd candidate for a Lakers roster spot. He hasn’t played in the NBA since 2019, and after a fairly successful stint in China, he underwhelmed with Portland’s Summer League team in Las Vegas last month. At 31 years old, Faried doesn’t have quite the same athleticism that he did at his peak, when he was one of the NBA’s premier energy big men.
But even at his peak, Faried didn’t exactly fill a need for the Lakers. With Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan in place, the Lakers have plenty of big men who can rebound and catch lobs. What they need is shooting. Faried made only 10 3-pointers in his entire NBA career. Yes, the Lakers have limited forward depth, but filling it with a redundant skill set would do them no good. As much as they’ve emphasized prior success in building their bench, Faried just doesn’t fit this team.
But the Lakers have only 13 players signed. They reportedly plan to open the season with 14 on the roster, and training camp rosters can go up to 20. Bringing Faried in as an extra body for camp might not be the worst thing, especially if his energy rubs off on teammates. If the Lakers choose not to sign a 14th player to a guaranteed deal and instead opt to let training camp invitees fight for a spot, it doesn’t hurt to have a wide variety of player archetypes in the building. Competition is rarely a bad thing.
But in the end, wing depth is badly needed for a team that lost the bulk of its perimeter defense this offseason. Free agents such as James Ennis and Wesley Matthews are the likeliest targets for GM Rob Pelinka. There’s no harm in doing due diligence, though, and for now, the Lakers continue to cast a wide net in search of depth.