The Los Angeles Lakers may not be finished with their offseason acquisitions. The team could bolster its frontline with the addition of Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel.
The purple and gold ranked dead last in defensive efficiency last season. The addition of Noel would considerably improve the team’s blocks and rebounding percentages.
Noel is also a realistic trade target for Mitch Kupchak and company. The 76ers have publicly stated that they want to relinquish one of their three starting-caliber centers in exchange for equally valuable assets, something the Lakers have in abundance.
D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson are considered untouchables at this point in their young careers. The Lakers can entice the 76ers with either Julius Randle, Anthony Brown or Larry Nance Jr.
According to Hoops Habit, the center spot is still a big area of concern for the Lakers. The team made a bold yet calculated risk by signing Timofey Mozgov to a four-year, $64 million deal in July. However, the 7-foot-1 Russian can’t carry the team on defense on his own.
Tarik Black is a high-energy reserve, but he is gravely undersized for his position. On the other hand, Croatian phenom Ivica Zubac has yet to play in his first NBA game.
Zubac is considered by many as the next Marc Gasol. He has the height and mobility to one day become an elite center in the league. For now, his main focus is to build muscle and gain NBA knowledge from his veteran teammates.
Speaking of veteran teammates, the Tinseltown squad recently showed workout footage of their new recruit Yi Jianlian. The Chinese superstar is not known to be a great defender, but he has a soft touch from the perimeter and three-point line.
Yi provides variety in the front court. His outside shooting is another weapon in Luke Walton’s arsenal for next season, Lakers Nation pointed out.