After much speculation and discussion, the NBA is reportedly set on giving teams 2 extra roster spots for the remainder of the season. Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic broke the news on Thursday that the league plans on making it official.
Sources: The NBA is planning to allow teams to bring up to 17 players per roster (including two-ways) into the resumed season. Previous estimate was 15-player limit.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 11, 2020
The obvious beneficiaries are players signed to two-way contracts, but with the news that teams can begin signing free agents on June 22nd, there are more possibilities as well.
The Lakers currently have all 15 roster spots filled, meaning they will have to choose two players to add. Included in the original roster is rookie, Talen Horton-Tucker, who many speculated would get the call. This scenario would mean that he is already in the fold so we won’t focus on him. The regular roster is full of guard depth, which likely means and extra help would be in the form of big men.
Let’s take a look at who else we could see secure those final two spots.
You can almost pencil in Cacok as one of the final two players after the year he has had in the G-League. Had the league not shut down, we were scheduled to see him make an appearance during the final weeks of the regular season regardless. As a small-ball center, Cacok could provide some interesting lineups if called upon to spell Howard and McGee. His energy would be a great boost for a mostly veteran roster, and he could prove useful to finish out the regular season. In all likelihood, he wouldn’t see action during the playoffs, but that isn’t where the Lakers would need his impact.
Kostas is another capable big, but is still a raw prospect who wouldn’t see much action if called up. Still, it would be an interesting choice should the Lakers decide to go that route. The youngest Antetokounmpo brother is set on making a name for himself, and he has shown the ability to be a capable defensive presence. If Kostas gets the call, it would be a great opportunity to show the team that he is ready to be a part of the equation as soon as next season.
This is the name all Laker fans are hoping for, something that may be easier said than done. Bringing back Cousins would require some financial gymnastics but could prove worthwhile if he is indeed healthy. This would be more than just roster depth. Cousins is an all-star caliber player that could give the team an edge they haven’t had all season: A true stretch 5. A lineup with Cousins at the 5 and Davis at the 4 would bring back the offensive firepower of the 2018 Pelicans, who were a few key pieces away from reaching the Western Conference Finals. That is something that could further propel the Lakers to a title.
Who would you like to see take the final two roster spots? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!