Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said the team hopes to add another big man this summer, and sources tell Jovan Buha of The Athletic that Christian Wood and Bismack Biyombo are among the names under consideration.
The Lakers already picked up former Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes on a two-year deal. During a session with reporters on Sunday, Pelinka indicated that the team plans to use more two-big lineups, which were effective during its championship run in 2020.
“I think adding Jaxson Hayes was key to that,” Pelinka said. “I think Jaxson, much like maybe Dwight Howard in that stretch for us: big body, rim protector, active roller. … But we are looking to add an additional center as well.”
Hayes received a minimum-salary contract with a player option for the second season. Whoever else the Lakers add will probably get the same type of deal, although Buha notes that L.A. has some flexibility because it didn’t use its full non-taxpayer mid-level exception to sign Gabe Vincent.
Vincent’s salary for next season is projected at $10.5MM, about $1.9MM below the MLE, allowing the Lakers to use the remaining money for another roster addition, either during the summer or later on. At this point, $1.9MM is below the minimum salary for a veteran player, but that won’t be the case later in the season when minimum deals are prorated.
“With the new CBA, eventually, you’re able to use the mid-level tool even for trades,” Pelinka said. “Not quite yet. But we were intentional about keeping some space and using that. It could come in handy. For instance, in the buyout market.”
In addition to Hayes and Vincent, the Lakers signed Taurean Prince and Cam Reddish this offseason and drafted Jalen Hood-Schifino and Maxwell Lewis. That leaves the team with 13 players, and the plan is to carry 14 when the season begins.
Wood, an offensive-minded big man, averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds for the Mavericks last season. Biyombo, who spent the past two years as a backup with the Suns, is more of a rim protector and rebounder with a limited offensive game.