The Lakers have either finalized their training camp roster or are very close to it. The team announced today that it has signed guard Devin Green, who played in 27 games last season as a rookie. Green is an interesting case as he already has beaten what were long odds of making an NBA roster after going undrafted out of Hampton.
The Lakers obviously liked Green enough to keep him around all last season on a non-guaranteed contract even though he barely played. He has promise as a defender but has to shoot better than 21.4 percent to stay in the league. Just having him around gave Andrew Bynum a rookie to hang out with last season. He’s a nice guy and his hands are so big you can’t help but thinking they’ll someday be transplanted onto Kwame Brown’s arms.
But Green will have to battle to make the team again this October. The Lakers have 14 players with guaranteed contracts for next season and a 15th player in Ronny Turiaf who is a lock to be on the roster. That leaves three players in Green, J.R. Pinnock and Von Wafer on the outside looking in.
There’s not a ton of need for any of the three, with Kobe Bryant playing 40 minutes a game and Maurice Evans picking up minutes wherever he can. The Lakers have seven guards under contract in Bryant, Evans, Aaron McKie, Smush Parker, Sasha Vujacic, Shammond Williams and Jordan Farmar. That’s more than enough.
I had heard earlier this month that the Lakers tried unsuccessfully to convince Green and Pinnock to play overseas for a season, allowing the team to retain their rights until a spot opened up next season. Both turned down that option, which will make training camp interesting indeed.