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NBA Rumors: LA Lakers looking to sign a center despite Marc Gasol's return

Marc Gasol with the LA Lakers in 2021 [Source: Los Angeles Times]
Marc Gasol with the LA Lakers in 2021 [Source: Los Angeles Times]
Kunal Sethi
ANALYST

The LA Lakers have arguably had the most eventful offseason in the NBA. LeBron James and co. signed 2017 MVP Russell Westbrook and numerous other veterans. They brought back Trevor Ariza, Dwight Howard and Kent Bazemore while also signing Carmelo Anthony. The 2022 LA Lakers are being labeled as the next "superteam" and rightfully so, the collective talent on the roster is otherworldly. At least five future Hall of Famers will be stepping on the court together and recent rumors suggest Rajon Rondo is on the brink of returning to the Purple and Gold as well.

Despite the LA Lakers' collection of stars, the Brooklyn Nets are still favored to win the 2022 NBA championship, according to every oddsmaker in Vegas. LeBron and co. want to leave no stone unturned in their quest for the 2022 title and recent reports suggest that they are in the market for another big man to fill the center role.

LA Lakers want to add depth to the center position

LeBron James and Dwight Howard of the LA Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals
LeBron James and Dwight Howard of the LA Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals

The LA Lakers have Marc Gasol returning for the final year of his contract next season. He signed a two-year $5 million deal in November 2020 and his salary next year will be $2.6 million. However, can he still be a starting center on a championship team?

The LA Lakers have only two players at the center position for depth, Dwight Howard and Marc Gasol. Both the former DPOYs are over the age of 36 and look great for backup roles but not the starting ones. Given the age on the roster, it isn't surprising that the LA Lakers want to add another center.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported on the same, saying:

"As discussed in a recent 'This Week In Basketball' column, league sources say that L.A. has explored the pursuit of other centers even though Gasol has one year left on his original two-year deal."

Forbes' DJ Siddiqi suggested that the LA Lakers could look at Brooklyn Nets' DeAndre Jordan if he gets bought out by the team. DeMarcus Cousins is also a possibility. At this point, the LA Lakers aren't concerned with age. They want to fill their three remaining open roster spots with any veteran who agrees to sign on a minimum and is looking to chase a ring.

Also Read: NBA Trade Rumors: Philadelphia 76ers fixated on landing Damian Lillard in a potential Ben Simmons trade

Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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