Los Angeles Lakers Waste $788,000 on Another Average Player

Marcus Landry

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers signed Marcus Landry on Monday. Although terms of the agreement were not released, Landry’s agent, Keith Krieter, tells the Los Angeles Daily Newsthat the deal’s worth the veteran’s minimum, or $788,000.

Landry last played in the NBA back in 2010 for the New York Knicks with now Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni. But he didn’t play much (6.4 minutes per game). Since then Landry’s spent most of his time in the D-League and playing in international leagues in Spain, China, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

Landry represents the Lakers’ commitment to signing relatively unknown players whose stats make you go “meh.”

Although Landry averaged 15.2 points and 37.1 percent on 3-pointers for the Lakers at the Las Vegas Summer League, if you’re like me, you give little credit to success in the NBA Summer League and D-Leagues.

With only $11 million in guaranteed contracts on their books for the 2014-15 season, the Lakers clearly want to avoid long-term commitments in order to ensure plenty of salary space for next year. The Lakers have also signed Elias Harris, Xavier Henry and Shawne Williams to partially-guaranteed and non-guaranteed contracts.

That makes sense. With all the unknowns surrounding the future of the Lakers organization right now, and with a 2014 free agency that includes LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, the Lakers are more concerned with rebuilding to win future championships rather than winning this year.

But the Lakers may regret not having taken more risks. Former Chicago Bulls star Nate Robinson would’ve increased the Lakers’ potential to contend in the playoffs. Robinson proved he could carry a team to victory when he scored 23 points in the fourth quarter alone to win Game 4 of the Bulls’ playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets.

But it’s too late to reconsider any negotiations with Robinson — The Denver Nuggets just signed him.

The Lakers may have also thought about signing Kenyon Martin. After being picked up by the Knicks midway through the 2012-13 season, Martin averaged more than seven points and five rebounds in just over 20 minutes per game. Martin would’ve brought defense, rebounding and intensity to the Lakers.

Robinson reportedly showed interest in playing for the Lakers this season. The Knicks and Martin have yet to reach a deal since his contract expired. But the Lakers apparently are unwilling to make any deal that’s worth more than one year. That’s the only reason I can see for why the Lakers would choose not to sign him. As for Martin, at 35 years old, his age may have been the concern.

The Lakers did make more impressive deals over the offseason than those with Harris, Henry and Williams. The Lakers managed to sign Wesley Johnson, Jordan Farmar and Chris Kaman to one-year deals. Nick Young’s contract, however, includes a player option for a second season. If they were willing to give Young an extension, maybe the Lakers should’ve conceded a few more years and some more money to sign Robinson too.

Who knows? Maybe Harris, Henry and William will prove effective on the court. I wish Landry much success. But according to their stats and profiles, the Lakers might’ve wasted their money. With James and Anthony becoming free agents in 2014, maybe that’s exactly what the Lakers wanted do to in order to save loads of salary space for next year.

Lucas Rubio is a columnist for RantSports.com and author of the Playerz League Sports Blog. Follow him on Twitter @PlayerzLeague.

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  • Jim213

    Just a camp invite (non guaranteed contract).