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Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Austin Daye Will Help Strengthen Bench

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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers have expressed interest in free agent Austin Daye, according to sources. Daye worked out for the Lakers last Wednesday. No deal is imminent, though, but adding Daye would fit perfectly with the Lakers approach in 2013.

Daye, a 6-foot-11 forward with a wiry frame and diverse skill set, was drafted No. 15 overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 2009 NBA Draft to be Tayshaun Prince‘s successor, but he has since struggled to make his mark in the NBA. Daye played three-plus years with the Pistons before being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies as part of the Rudy Gay deal. In his four NBA seasons, Daye has averaged 5.6 points on 41 percent shooting.

If Daye decided to sign with the Lakers, he would join two other former Gonzaga players in Robert Sacre and recently signed Elias Harris.

Daye fits Mike D’Antoni’s system very well. With Daye’s athleticism and ability to play on the perimeter, it will allow the Lakers offense to open up which will give Steve Nash and Pau Gasol the ability to work together in the paint.

Defensively, Daye will add versatility and length to the Lakers’ front court. Paired with Wesley Johnson, the Lakers could have two young wing defenders, and in the league today, it is vital to have players with that ability. With his tall frame, Daye can also be used as a power forward when D’Antoni chooses to go small.

If Daye does indeed  sign with the Lakers, they will boast a younger team which is something they have lacked for years now. With the influx of young talent, expect the Lakers to continue negotiating with younger players. For Daye, signing with the Lakers may pump some life into his floundering career.

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