Reducing the average age of the roster has been one of the Los Angeles Lakers’ key goals this summer in a bid to correct last offseason’s mistakes.
However, one should always remember that there is a fine line to walk, because youth also means inexperience – that’s why finding the right balance is so important. Sure, you can point to LeBron James and Anthony Davis as the team’s leaders, but what happens when your bench unit is on the court and there’s no veteran in sight?
This was said recently by an Eastern Conference executive who spoke to Heavy.com on condition of anonymity Sean Deveney that he believes Blake Griffin could be a useful addition to the Lakers rotation this season.
“The Lakers too. Look you don’t want to be hit by Covid issues again this year, no team wants it. They’re going to need a few veteran roster slots to throw into the mix without missing a beat, and Blake can do that. The Lakers have taken a few hits with youngsters, but give me a veteran on this list and I feel a lot better about the depth issues they might end up having. But something like that will be put on hold until the Lakers figure out what they’re doing with the rest of their summer here,” the manager said.
Griffin may not be the high-flying forward he once was, but he has proven he can sit on the bench in a competitive team while being an “emergency shattering glass” throughout the regular season.
Last season, Griffin banked with the Brooklyn Nets and played in 56 regular-season games — starting 24 of them. On the floor, the former All-Star averaged 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game and shot 42.5% from field but just 26.2% from deep.
According to Cleaning The Glass, Griffin was most effective in the short midfield last season – often referred to as the “floater range” while also converting 62% of his chances at the edge.
However, should the veteran forward join the Lakers, he’ll likely be asked to distribute the ground and continue to work on his perimeter play — something that seemed to improve during his time with the Detroit Pistons. Sure, Griffin isn’t a walking bucket like Carmelo Anthony was last season, but his height, physicality and experience suggest he’s a valuable rotation member who also brings much-needed depth to the Lakers bench.
After missing all of last season with a bruised bone, Kendrick Nunn exercised his player option for the upcoming season, which has eased the Lakers’ urgency to find a replacement point guard for Russell Westbrook (assuming he stays in Los Angeles) .
Speaking during an interview with Spectrum SportsNet on July 27th, Nunn spoke about how his time on the sidelines has allowed him to grow as a player – most notably in his ability to understand the game from multiple angles.
Hopefully Nunn can rediscover the form that made him a desirable contender last summer and get the Lakers a hit off the bench while saving the front office from acquiring an extra guard in free agency — and giving them more credit give way to track a veteran like Griffin.