7:06pm: Pincus reveals in his full story that Mike D’Antoni has acknowledged the Lakers will probably need to add a point guard: “We’ll talk with [GM Mitch Kupchak]” said D’Antoni after practice on Thursday. “We’re looking but we don’t want to just get anybody.” Pincus notes that free agents Darius Morris and Chris Duhon played for D’Antoni in LA last season, but the writer also sees Jamaal Tinsley, Sebastian Telfair, and Shannon Brown as potential targets (among others).
More than likely, the Lakers will use their open roster spot to add a player on a non-guaranteed deal. “That’s what you [probably] do,” said Kupchak. “It’s actually more flexibility [than a 10-day contract].” Regardless, players can’t sign 10-day deals until January 6th, and the Lakers can’t afford to wait that long with Bryant, Blake, Farmar, and Nash all sidelined.
3:30pm: The Lakers are considering adding a guard, tweets Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times.
3:01pm: The Lakers’ backcourt took two more devastating hits today, as the team announced that Kobe Bryant will miss the next six weeks, while Steve Nash won’t return to action for at least four more weeks. According to the Lakers (Twitter link), Bryant suffered a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee.
Steve Blake was already expected to miss another several weeks while he recovers from a torn UCL, and Jordan Farmar will be out for at least a few more days before being reevaluated next Tuesday. A report yesterday indicated that L.A. wasn’t in the market for a point guard, but as the injuries continue to pile up, you have to wonder how long the club can go without adding a healthy body to its backcourt, if only for insurance purposes. Coach Mike D’Antoni suggested Xavier Henry would take over point guard duties for the Lakers for now (Twitter link).
As our list of roster counts shows, the Lakers have an open 15th spot, and also have three players on non-guaranteed contracts, so the team has the flexibility to add a free agent. Contracts don’t become fully guaranteed for about another three weeks, so the Lakers could add a short-term replacement with the intention of waiving that player by January 7th.