The Lakers have been working the edges of the roster in recent weeks, adding all types of wings and combo forwards to compete for a roster spot when training camp opens later this month. In continuing that pursuit, the team has added Marcus Landry, a combo forward who shined for the team’s summer league outfit in Las Vegas in July.
As Mark Medina notes, Landry’s contract is not guaranteed so he joins the ranks of recent signees Shawne Williams, Xavier Henry, and Elias Harris as guys who will have every chance to let their skill set shine through and potentially earn a role when the games count starting in late October.
As for earning that role, I believe Landry has a pretty good shot. He has a history with the D’Antoni brothers, getting a brief stint with the Knicks in the 2010 campaign, and, while not getting a lot of burn, impressed with his skill set and work ethic. Further, after his showing in Vegas, Landry showed he has an NBA style game and an offensive versatility that serves him well in a spread pick and roll attack. With Landry’s ability to space the floor and, just as important, his willingness to compete defensively and on the backboards, he is a solid (if unspectacular) player who doesn’t take a lot off the table.
Does this mean that Landry is a shoe-in to make the team? No. Nor does it mean that he should be viewed as some sort of a difference maker who should be looked at as a future contributor. That said, after signing guys who were high draft picks but haven’t been able to translate that pedigree into production, Landry is likely to be a player who doesn’t flash a high ceiling, but also has a higher floor than a boom or bust gamble.
Ultimately we won’t know if that’s enough to get him onto the final roster until we see him in the mix with the other players competing for a spot, but like the tortoise and hare, his more methodical style may just prove to be enough.