Lakers News: Waiving Chris Douglas-Roberts Hurts Team's Overall Athleticism

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2012

Oct. 10, 2012; Ontario, CA, USA;  Portland Trail Blazers forward Jared Jeffries (1) defends Los Angeles Lakers forward Chris Douglas-Roberts (9) in the second half of the game at the Citizens Business Bank Arena. Portland won 93-75.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot of positive qualities working in their favor this season, but raw athleticism isn't necessarily one of them.

That's something Chris Douglas-Roberts could have added to the fold as a bench player, but he was released on Monday, along with center Greg Somogyi, via the team's official website.

In his three-year career, the former Memphis Tiger has averaged 7.7 points, 1.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game. He's played two seasons with the Nets and one with the Bucks, averaging 20.6 minutes per game overall. He also played with Virtus Bologna in the Italian League, where he averaged just over 12 points per contest.

Douglas-Roberts was never going to be a superstar, but the 6'7'' shooting guard is an outstanding athlete:

The Lakers don't have much athleticism in the backcourt. Aging players Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant aren't who they used to be. Jodie Meeks is more of a shooter than anything and the Steve Blake/Chris Duhon combination isn't going to outrun or out-jump anyone.

Andrew Goudelock is unproven and Darius Johnson-Odom is as well, and that's who Douglas-Roberts was likely competing against for a roster spot.

On top of that, his lanky frame allows him to play small forward as well. With Metta World Peace and Devin Ebanks being the only two players at that position right now, depth could turn out to be an issue.

Los Angeles' rotation would have benefited from Douglas-Roberts' length. He's not the defender that you'd like to see from a player of his stature, but he's a gifted scorer, especially in short bursts.

Averaging four points in four preseason games didn't do much for Douglas-Roberts' chances of making the roster, but his age and his short resume should have. He's proven himself as a capable slasher off the bench, using his energy to create mismatches on the perimeter.

Now, the Lakers will rely on a slower backcourt with very little variety on the bench. It's not that it can't, or won't, work, but having different types of players on the bench is an added benefit down the stretch.

Douglas-Roberts could have brought youthful energy and excitement to the NBA-championship hopefuls. Instead, they missed out on an intriguing young player.