|The Lakers are reportedly looking to add Kenyon Martin or Rasheed Wallace. (Getty Images)|
Yahoo Sports reportsthat former Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin is expected to sign by the weekend with one of the contenders as he looks for consistent minutes where he can win. The list includes the usual favorites for the title, but Yahoo also notes that the Lakers have a backup plan if Martin heads elsewhere.
If the Lakers don’t sign Martin, they could have interest in adding Rasheed Wallace, who contacted the team several weeks ago, a league source said. Wallace retired after the 2009-10 season, but has told friends he’s interested in returning to the NBA.via Kenyon Martin deciding which contender to join - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.
The Lakers have been in near-constant pursuit of a backup big to help bolster their frontcourt. Troy Murphy has not set the world on fire, Josh McRoberts is inconsistent, and the Lakers are 14th in opponent offensive rebound rate. Martin's a great fit because not only can he defend and produce rebound help, even at age 34, but he's still got a decent short-range jumper he can hit when his man helps off. The Lakers can't afford to bring in a big that can't score with their offense struggling as it has.
There is a hiccup, however. Draft Express notes that Martin's Chinese team he signed with during the lockout is a half game out of the playoffs. If they were to make it, it would be another month before he's eligible to sign with NBA teams, due to a rule enacted during the lockout by the CBA.
Sheed's a similar situation, though his conditioning is going to be a huge, gigantic question. Wallace has been out of the game for a year and a half. How's his perimeter shooting going to be after all that time and how many minutes can he actually log?
The Lakers are in need of a bigger boost than this, but short of a trade for Dwight Howard, it's unlikely they'll find one. So they'll have to work within the confines of what's available, and that means getting a little desperate. A 34-year-old who may be stuck because of his Chinese team's success (Martin was released months ago but is ineligible due to FIBA restrictions based on the CBA rule) and a 37-year-old who hasn't played in nearly two years fit that description perfectly. But with the talent on L.A., who knows how well they can perform.
The Lakers improved to 13-9 Tuesday night with a win over the Bobcats.