The Los Angeles Lakers have struggled to compete at the highest level this season. Boasting a 3-10 record, their offensive shortcomings have left a lot to be desired in the first couple of weeks of the Darvin Ham era.
Perhaps the most worrisome part of this tough stretch is the fact that they don’t have the personnel to turn things around. Russell Westbrook has agreed to come off the bench and has thrived in that role. But besides Dennis Schroder’s imminent debut, it’s not like they have someone who could give them anything different on their roster.
That’s why the Lakers have been keeping an eye on the free-agent market as of late. Needless to say, there aren’t that many options which are available at this point in the season. However, The Athletic’s Sham Charania reported that they’ve already worked out Moe Harkless, Tony Snell, and Joe Wieskamp:
“It will also be curious guys, are they going to go out and sign a player out on the free agent market now that they might need additional wing help?” Charania said. “They worked out Moe Harkless recently. And I’m told the Lakers also held free-agent workouts with Joe Wieskamp and Tony Snell. Wieskamp was waived by the Spurs out of training camp, and Snell has been a long-time NBA veteran.”
It’s Now Or Never For Wieskamp
While neither of these names seems like a big-impact player, Joe Wieskamp is just what the purple and gold are lacking right now. Born in Muscatine, Iowa, he is one of the best players that the Hawkeye state has produced.
He didn’t find a lot of success with the San Antonio Spurs and was waived a couple of weeks ago, but he sure can shoot the basketball, and that’s what the Lakers are craving right now.
Besides Matt Ryan, the Lakers don’t have a legit threat from beyond the arc. Wieskamp was one of the most efficient sharpshooters in the G-League, honoring his reputation for being a bit of a sniper when he was with the Iowa Hawkeyes. So, even though he’s by far the least experienced among the options they’re considering, perhaps the Lakers would be better off giving him a chance. Also, that might as well be his last chance to have a successful NBA career, something similar to what happened with Duncan Robinson and the Miami Heat.
Struggling Lakers Could Use An Offensive Spark
The 2022-23 Los Angeles Lakers currently average the fifth-fewest points per game (108.8) despite playing at the fourth-highest pace in the league (101.8). They also have the second-worst net rating in the league at -6.4. It’s clear that their roster is flawed, and they need to address it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, making trades will be tough, to say the least, considering Russell Westbrook is due to make $47 million and is on an expiring deal, so rival teams have literally no incentive to absorb his contract unless he comes with at least one first-round pick attached.
Moreover, some believe it should be time they consider moving on from Anthony Davis as well. He’s one of the most injury-prone players in the league and has given them nothing aside from that brief title run in the bubble. However, he’s Rob Pelinka’s guy, so it’s unlikely that he’ll ever trade him.
So, all things considered, perhaps the answer for the Lakers’ struggles will have to come from the waiver wire and the free-agent market. And hey, we already know Wieskamp looks good in yellow, so let’s give the guy another shot to prove he deserves a spot in an NBA team’s rotation.