The Los Angeles Lakers spent the offseason reconfiguring the roster to vie for another NBA title. The front office brought a strong mixture of proven talent to balance the team behind the star power. However, one free agent veteran is still pushing hard to join the Lakers.
Lakers venture through busy offseason revamping the roster
After suffering an early playoff exit, the Lakers ventured through the offseason revamping the roster.
Los Angeles started those efforts with the splash move to acquire star point guard Russell Westbrook to pair alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The front office followed it by filling the supporting cast with proven veterans who are skilled shooters and versatile defenders.
Despite the Lakers assembling their opening-night roster, one free agent is still making a hard public pitch to join the fray.
An NBA Veteran is literally begging the Lakers to sign him
As the regular season nears closer, the Lakers roster is almost entirely in place with 14 players under contract.
However, the team remains linked to free-agent veteran forward Jame Ennis, who worked out for Los Angeles last month. Since then, Ennis has sat unsigned, which hasn’t stopped him from publicly airing his desire to don a Lakers’ uniform.
During the team’s 123-94 loss to the Phoenix Suns in preseason action on Sunday night, Ennis tweeted a not-so-subtle message directed toward the franchise.
“I play defense sign me already,” Ennis tweeted.
Although it’s only preseason action, the Lakers have gone winless while allowing 121 points per contest. Ennis may not have singled out the organization in his tweet, but it’s not hard to connect the dots that he’s referring to Los Angeles.
The 31-year-old may not have to plead his case as the recent injuries to Trevor Ariza and Talen Horton-Tucker should push the team to consider bringing him aboard. Ennis is a versatile forward that can defend positions while providing some outside shooting as he hit a career-best 43.3% from 3-point range last year with the Orlando Magic.
The circumstances fall favorably in his direction as Los Angeles needs another frontcourt player to fill the temporary void. At the same time, the Lakers want to keep their 15th roster spot open in case of a contract buyout or trade.
Ultimately, Ennis’ public plea places the onus on the franchise to make the final call ahead of next season.
Plenty of roster hurdles lie ahead
In the week before the season opener, it’s become quite evident the Lakers hold a significant adjustment period ahead.
Los Angeles’ revamped roster has shown flashes of promise, but the key pieces are actively working to find stable on-court chemistry. Westbrook has notably struggled as he’s committed 15 turnovers over the last two preseason games.
Much of that is due to the lack of familiarity he and his teammates have playing alongside each other. After Sunday’s preseason action, he revealed he’s getting used to opposing teams defending him to pass first rather than score.
“Normally I’m so used to guys on other teams playing me to score. Now they play me to pass a lot, which is different for me,” Westbrook said via The LA Times. “But I’ll figure it out. It’s just some easy reads for me. Once I dunk a few, people will start coming and helping, and I’m there diming.
“It’s up to me to be that. I’m just kind [of] predetermining my passes, and they’re just waiting and baiting me…It’s an easy, literally easy, fix for me, and I’ll figure it out.”
Westbrook’s adjustment is only part of the massive puzzle that the Lakers must figure out to compete for an NBA title. Los Angeles certainly holds the benefit of time on its hands, but the team chemistry will be key to securing another Larry O’Brien trophy.