The Lakers probably felt as if they were getting teased the last few games by the sight of players who spurned their offer to play for them last summer.
On Tuesday, the Lakers had to wonder what could have been if Milwaukee center Greg Monroe had chosen them instead of joining the Bucks for $50 million over three seasons.
The Lakers know their pitch to Monroe, who was a late scratch Tuesday because of a sore left knee, wasn’t good enough.
“We talked about basketball and where we felt that he would fit in and how we thought he could impact our team,” Lakers Coach Byron Scott said.
When the Lakers played the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night, they saw LaMarcus Aldridge, the power forward they met twice last summer but still couldn’t sign.
In Monroe, the Lakers liked the “big body” of a 6-foot-11, 265-pound player.
Monroe is averaging 16.2 points per game and 9.8 rebounds, tied for the ninth-best in the NBA.
“He just knows how to play,” Scott said. “Plays extremely hard. Very smart basketball player. I think the one thing that I liked about him is that he plays within himself, doesn’t try to do too much. But he’s also a guy that can post up. He’s also a guy that can hit the 15-foot jump shot, so you’ve got to play him honestly when he’s on the court. And I think he’s done that with Milwaukee as well.”
There hasn’t been much for the Lakers to be happy about this season.
And lately, Scott hasn’t been pleased with the play of his bench.
With D’Angelo Russell back with the reserves after starting the last two games in place of Jordan Clarkson (sprained right ankle), Scott is seeking improved play from his bench.
“The last two games they really have been struggling,” Scott said. “And D’Angelo being inserted back into the starting lineup with Jordan out, I hope that can bring a little bit more stability to them as well [with Russell back on the bench]. I think with the way he’s been playing the last few games, hopefully that kind of rubs off with the second unit.”