KEY POINTS

  • The Lakers sign a former first-round pick to a two-way deal
  • Sekou Doumbouya can make an NBA return via the G-League route
  • Doumbouya could replace the injured Trevor Ariza

The Los Angeles Lakers were always perceived to have an injury problem heading into the 2021-22 NBA season.

However, most were expecting the older guys to deal with it and not their young cagers.

Trevor Ariza, Malik Monk, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn have each gone down one after the other due to different injuries.

With the new NBA season starting soon, the Lakers need to address the void, especially for those who won’t be ready by game time.

One of the new additions to the Lakers is reportedly Sekou Doumbouya. He may not ring much of a bell although he did see action for the Detroit Pistons from 2019 to 2021.

Looking at his stats, the Guinean small forward hardly has good numbers to show. In the two seasons with the Pistons, Doumbouya holds an average of 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per Basketball-Reference.

Doumbouya signed a two-way deal with the Lakers on Tuesday, October 12 although he will have to earn his way back to the big league.

He will have to prove his worth with the South Bay Lakers in the NBA G-League.

Hence, the best thing to note for now is that Doumbouya is a step closer to making an NBA return if he performs well.

With most NBA veterans on the Lakers roster out, Doumbouya could find himself filling up one of the voids soon.

Several things are working for Doumbouya. For one, he is a former first-round pick (15th in the 2019 NBA Draft). He is also only 20 years old and could still improve as he goes along.

There is no doubt that the 6-foot-8 cager is still rough around the edges. But with the Lakers sorely needing manpower, the ex-Piston has a golden opportunity to be called up and fill the void of Ariza.

The returning NBA veteran is expected to be out for eight weeks, possibly more depending on his progress during rehabilitation.

There are no promises set for Doumbouya. But given that no other team is willing to take a chance on him, it may be the best scenario for now if he wants to make an NBA return.

Trevelin Queen #20 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a basket against Sekou Doumbouya #45 and Day'Ron Sharpe #20 of the Brooklyn Nets Trevelin Queen #20 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a basket against Sekou Doumbouya #45 and Day'Ron Sharpe #20 of the Brooklyn Nets Photo: Getty Images | Kevork Djansezian