The Los Angeles Lakers, despite their busy 2021 offseason, still have two roster spots open. As we get closer to the start of the NBA training camp, there is a need to fill up their ranks. It was a near-complete roster overhaul of their 2020-21 roster as many of the players were used in trade deals.
Meanwhile, the Lakers have brought in ten new players to join LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Talen Horton-Tucker, leaving two spots open at this stage in the offseason.
In a press conference on Wednesday, general manager Rob Pelinka broke the silence on what the franchise aims to do with the remaining two roster slots.
"We do have two open roster spots, 14 and 15," Pelinka said, via Christian Rivas of Silver Screen & Roll. “Most likely 15 will be held (open), just with the tax implications and also holding that potentially for the buyout deadline. That’s usually a tool that a lot of contenders use. So I think there’s a likelihood there.”
In a nutshell, Pelinka and the Lakers' front office decided to leave the final spot open in anticipation of a few big-name buyouts midway through the campaign. Championship contenders always seek to get better, and having a free roster spot will help the Lakers achieve that.
As regards the 14th spot, Pelinka stated that the franchise would decide before the commencement of training camp.
“We’re never absolute, we’re always fluid and anything could be presented. And we are in kind of our final evaluations on what to do with the 14th spot,” Pelinka said. “That’s something that we will make the decision on and around before camp starts on Tuesday. So we’re still kind of evaluating that as we speak.”
The LA Lakers have earlier stated that they aim to get younger with the final roster spots, which was the main reason they did not bring back Jared Dudley, who recently clocked 36. However, there is a good chance that the Lakers will sign one of the players they have worked out so far. Isaiah Thomas, Kenneth Faried, Darren Collison, and Mike James are all options as things stand.