Is Marreese Speights A Good Fit For The Lakers?


Per ESPN’s Kevin Pelton Cousins’ injury is severe: “In the past five years, no player has come back from an ACL tear in shorter than 11 months. The past two players to suffer ACL injuries in August (Dante Exum in 2015 and Brandon Knight in 2017) didn’t return until training camp the following year.”

It seems highly unlikely that DeMarcus Cousins will suit up at all for the Lakers this season and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that: “the Lakers are planning individual workouts to evaluate centers Joakim Noah, Dwight Howard and Mo Speights this week in Los Angeles.”

Wojnarowski added that the team wants “a window into physical condition and mindset of a potential addition.”

Marreese Speights is an intriguing fit, he has playoff experience and won an NBA Championship with the Warriors in 2015. Like his former teammates in the Bay Area, Speights loves shooting from beyond the arc, he has made 35.6 percent of his 3-point attempts over 705 career games and he shot 36.9 percent from distance for the Magic in the 2017-18 season, his last in the NBA.

That Magic team had a congested frontcourt but with the Lakers he can provide spacing off the bench so the Lakers can drive at the rim at will. Speights is not an elite defender (minus-2.9 Defensive Box Plus/Minus (DBPM) in the 2017-18 season) and he won’t crash the boards but he would bring a different dimension to the offense.

Getting a large shooter for the veteran’s minimum would be a smart decision by the Lakers and Speights is more durable than Dwight Howard and Joakim Noah right now, as he has never played fewer than 52 games in a season, making him an ideal addition for a Lakers team desperate for frontcourt depth.

Speights spent last season with the Guangzhou Long-Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association and he shot 37.05 percent from beyond the arc over his last two seasons in the NBA. The Lakers would not need him to play more than 20 minutes a night and that limited workload should help keep him fresh for the playoffs.

Odds To Win The Western Conference
(Courtesy of 5Dimes)

Los Angeles Clippers +245

Los Angeles Lakers +290

Houston Rockets +495

Golden State Warriors +875

Utah Jazz +950

Denver Nuggets +1300

Portland Trail Blazers +2400

San Antonio Spurs +5000

Dallas Mavericks +5500

New Orleans Pelicans +7000

Sacramento Kings +17000

Minnesota Timberwolves +24500

Oklahoma City Thunder +27500

Phoenix Suns +50000

Memphis Grizzlies +50000