Tag: Jake Voskuhl

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Lakers shopping for short-term backup center

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With Andrew Bynum still a few weeks away, Theo Ratliff out for a month or more after knee surgery, Lamar Odom’s sore foot and so on, the Lakers may be looking for some help. So that Pau Gasol doesn’t have to play 43 minutes, like he did against the Bucks Tuesday.

Phil Jackson said the Lakers could be in the market to sign a center, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“We have to have some support there interim until Andrew comes back,” Coach Phil Jackson said Tuesday.

The Lakers will talk to the representative for free-agent Erick Dampier, though it might not be a good match for either side. Dampier will want more than a short-term contract, and the Lakers are looking for a little more mobility in the post.

The Lakers cannot offer a 10-day contract (it is not allowed until later in the season) but this deal would be essentially that, a non-guaranteed deal where the guy will be cut loose when everyone is healthy. Dampier would never sign that deal, so we don’t need to get into what a bad fit that would be.

Jake Voskuhl, Steven Hunter and Sean May will get looks, according to the report. Also, for the next couple games expect to see more of rookie Derrick Caracter (already on the Lakers roster).

Clippers cut Jake Voskuhl and Jon Scheyer

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The Clippers made three additions to the free agent pool on Saturday, including two notable names. According to Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports, L.A. has parted ways with NBA vet Jake Voskuhl, Dukie Jon Scheyer, and “other guy” Stephen Dennis.

Voskuhl was last seen — in an official NBA capacity, at least — as a member of the ’09 Raptors, though he did have a training camp stint last season with the Dallas Mavericks. Obviously Voskuhl didn’t stick then, and he was hoping to have better luck with this season’s Clippers. Bummer. On the bright side, Voskuhl could be a mid-season addition for a team lacking in center depth, or a team looking to compensate for injuries to their bigs.

Scheyer, who went undrafted after winning a national championship with Duke last season, attempted to fight for a roster spot with Miami at the Vegas Summer League before a nasty eye injury cut his tryout short. He was then linked to the Utah Jazz as a potential training camp candidate, but opted to go to camp with the Clippers instead. That didn’t work out too well for him, but his chances of making Utah’s roster would have been equally slim. At this point, Scheyer’s best way to stay on the NBA radar may be a year in the D-League, though it should surprise no one if he instead chooses to make some quick cash in Europe.

However, with most European teams settling into their rosters for the season to come, Scheyer may not get the kind of offers that would make a deal across the Atlantic a no-brainer. Regardless of where Scheyer ends up this season though, he’ll be around. We may not see him play in the States until next year’s summer league/training camp cycle, but he’s intriguing enough to warrant a camp invite and he’s secure enough in his position on the league’s cusp to pencil him in for a few return appearances.

Exploring the Nuggets' need for another big man

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There isn’t a roster in the league that you could look up and down and say “Ehh, they couldn’t use another big man.” That’s the very reason that the Big Z-Cleveland release-and-catch is so offensive to so many teams; the move doesn’t seem like it should be legal, sure, but those who have been the most vocal about it are those threatened by Cleveland’s competition or those that would be vying for Ilgauskas’ services.

Productive centers with decent size go a long way in the NBA, and true depth at the 5 is something of a Holy Grail for many championship and playoff contenders.

In that light, the Nuggets’ rumored flirtations with just about every free agent big man on the NBA radar makes perfect sense. They could very well find themselves matched up against the Lakers in the playoffs, and that frontcourt? Not exactly small. L.A.’s size is one of the reasons they’re so difficult to match and match-up with.

To further complicate things, Chris Andersen, a vital component of Denver’s bench and their most effective center behind Nene, isn’t well. He hasn’t been for some time, and won’t be for a long while. From Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post:

On the orders of the training staff, [Andersen] sat out the second half of the Nuggets’ 101-85 loss at Phoenix on Monday. Then there was a day off before the Oklahoma City game. “With four games in five nights, it’s really not enough time for you to do as much treatment as I needed, and to get in the weight room. So it was tough,” Andersen said. “But I got a little bit of rest, even though I didn’t want to. I tried to give it a go against Phoenix, and they said just (to) sit out the rest of the half due to the fact that my knee was strained. But it’s a matter of bouncing back, because we definitely needed that game (on Wednesday). We definitely have to take care of our home court.”

Andersen will likely not be 100 percent during the rest of the regular season or into the playoffs. Asked if he knows what he’ll feel like from one day to the next, Andersen said “No.”

“Usually when I get up, I’m in some big pain, but that’s just the way it goes,” he said. “It’s been a tough year so far with all of the back-to-backs we’ve had. It’s just a matter of fighting through it.”

Andersen’s injury is even more damaging to the Nuggets because Andersen’s real value comes in his activity level; he’s more mobile than most centers, which makes him an incredibly effective weak-side shot blocker. But when he’s enduring constant soreness and pain in a bum knee? Well, it doesn’t exactly improve his abilities as a rotating defender, that’s for sure.

But these are hardly developments with Andersen’s injured knee so much as they are lingering storylines. It’s something that will chase Denver through the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs, and the only plausible solution at this point is to grab a free agent and hope they’re able to provide Chris some rest.

The Nuggets just need few minutes out of a capable third center. That man is not Malik Allen , nor Johan Petro. But considering how late it is in the season and Denver’s circumstances, there may not be many other options. So they’ll chase Z, they’ll probably chase Mark Blount, or Jake Voskuhl, or some unsigned “gem.” And though expectations will likely be pretty low for a guy of Blount or Voskuhl’s caliber, they’re not needed for much: just a simple role and a simple job that could be all the difference come April, maybe May, and hopefully for the Nuggets, June.