Despite being decimated by injuries in the low post over the last week—Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill are all out (h/t New York Times)—the Los Angeles Lakers have yet to reach out to free agent power forward Kenyon Martin, according to Sam Amick of USA Today:
The Lakers-who cut Johnson-Odom & lost bigs D. Howard & P. Gasol today-have not reached out to free agent F Kenyon Martin,USAT has learned— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 7, 2013
While there are question marks around Martin’s work ethic and his demeanor on the court and in the locker room, there is no denying his talent on the floor; the veteran averaged 13 points and 7.1 rebounds per game over his career.
With the Lakers in serious need of power forward depth and Martin likely seeking a short-term deal, the risk is well worth the possible reward.
Los Angles must add some serious talent to the team, but with so much wrapped up in just a few players, the ability to trade for reliable bench presence is limited.
That’s why the team must add a solid player at a position of need for a reasonable price; that’s where Martin fits perfectly. Martin was with the Clippers last season and knows the city and the building.
If the Lakers can be convinced that Martin will be a help to the team and not cause trouble in the locker room or be a distraction, L.A. would be foolish not to add the low-post depth.
The team needs all the help it can get.
Add in the fact that head coach Mike D’Antoni is still trying to implement his fast-paced offense on a team full of old players, and the growing pains so far have been blatantly obvious.
That doesn’t mean it will always be that way, though. Stars like Kobe Bryant and Howard will eventually return to their elite form, and Martin can be used as a bench player that gives the starters a chance to rest.
Martin is talented on the offensive end, and there is no doubt that the Lakers could find plays for the veteran in almost any situation. He is a versatile player, and when he is focused and playing hard, can be a difference maker on this Los Angeles team.
The Lakers should take this risk.