Following the loss to the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers fell to four games below .500 at 15-19 after suffering some major blows to the frontcourt due to injuries. Dwight Howard (torn labrum) and Pau Gasol (concussion) are out indefinitely while Jordan Hill will miss at least a week with a hip injury.
With three of the team’s best frontcourt players banged up, the Lakers not only face an uphill battle in terms of trying to get back into playoff contention in the Western Conference, but now must bounce back after three straight losses without much of a presence inside the paint.
As a result of the injuries in the frontcourt, the team recalled rookie center Robert Sacre from the D-League to help fill the void. Obviously, bringing in Sacre to replace Howard is a drastic change for the Lakers as well as making veteran forward Antawn Jamison arguably the team’s current best frontcourt player.
Now that the Lakers’ front office has been forced into a corner and is more likely to make a move as a result of the recent injuries, the consensus has been that the team will target forwards either in free agency or via trade.
One intriguing option on the open market that remains unsigned is free agent Kenyon Martin. Although Martin indicated a desire to sign with the Lakers in the off-season, the team decided to go in a direction, but that stance may soon change on Martin.
According to Sam Amick of Sports Illustrated via Twitter, the Lakers have yet to contact Martin:
The Lakers-who cut Johnson-Odom & lost bigs D. Howard & P. Gasol today-have not reached out to free agent F Kenyon Martin,USAT has learned
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) January 7, 2013
Martin may no longer be the force on both ends of the floor that he once was with the New Jersey Nets and Denver Nuggets, but the veteran forward is still a solid option for the Lakers considering the team’s current injury problems in the frontcourt. Depending on how long Howard may ultimately be out with his torn labrum, Martin might receive some interest from the Lakers’ front office.