Naturally, when the Los Angeles Lakers reportedly waived Quinn Cook, speculation grew on who the team might replace him with. DeMarcus Cousins seemed like a logical fit. He’s reportedly getting released by the Houston Rockets and spent time in Los Angeles last season.
Cousins is no longer the dominant big man he once was but he’s finally healthy and is still capable of averaging a double-double. However, Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times are reporting that “Boogie” isn’t coming back to the Lakers. Instead, the team could be more interested in Hassan Whiteside.
“There are no immediate plans to fill Cook’s roster spot, and multiple people with knowledge of the situation said they don’t expect the Lakers to reunite with Houston center DeMarcus Cousins if he becomes available as expected,” Woike and Turner wrote. “The team will, however, monitor the buyout and trade markets for potential additions to their frontcourt.
“Sacramento center Hassan Whiteside, who is averaging 8.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots in 14-1/2 minutes per game, is a possible target the team could pursue.”
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Whiteside Might Not Help Lakers Much
In 2016 and 2020, Whiteside led the NBA in blocks. In 2017, he led the league in rebounds. He was once considered one of the best defensive big men around.
However, the league has moved away from players like Whiteside. He averaged 15.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per game with the Portland Trail Blazers last season. Despite those really solid numbers, he was only able to get a one-year deal from the Kings in the offseason. He would’ve been an impact player 20 years ago but he doesn’t shoot 3-pointers. Whiteside has made eight of 26 3-pointers throughout his nine-year career.
He can rebound with the best in the world and can still block a lot of shots. He’d definitely give the Lakers some more size and defense. Unfortunately, once Anthony Davis returns from injury, it’s hard to see Whiteside having much of a role on the team. It might make more sense for the Lakers to add a player who could potentially have an impact even when Davis is back.
Lakers Need Shooting
To start the season, the Lakers were among the best 3-point shooting teams in the NBA. They’ve plummeted all the way down to 20th in the league when it comes to 3-point percentage. Despite shooting being the team’s biggest issue last season, they clearly didn’t do enough to fix it.
If the Lakers are determined to add a player in the buyout market, they should really look to add a shooter. Wayne Ellington could be available and he’s shooting over 42% from beyond the arc this season. He briefly played with the team back in 2014-2015 but could actually have a chance to win with the team this time.
Trevor Ariza is also a name that the Lakers should look at. He shot 40% on 3-pointers last season. He’s not an elite shooter but he’s good enough to hit a couple of big shots. Plus, he’s a very good defender.
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