Lakers sign Thomas Robinson

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The Lakers aren’t just signing washed-up veterans.

They’re also adding a player who could help the team on the court now and in coming years: Thomas Robinson.

Lakers release:

The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward Thomas Robinson, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders:

Robinson opted out of a guaranteed minimum contract with the Nets. I’m surprised he had to settle for an unguaranteed deal.

But he could make the regular-season roster and break even.

The Lakers have 14 players with guaranteed salaries, plus Yi Jianlian and maybe minus Nick Young. That leaves Robinson, Metta World Peace, Zach Auguste, Travis Wear and Julian Jacobs seemingly competing for one spot.

Robinson, just 25, is a strong rebounder and shot blocker. The Lakers want to depend on Timofey Mozgov in the middle, but they still need a long-term answer at center (which raises questions about signing 30-year-old Mozgov to such a lucrative deal). Might that be Robinson? He could at least be a stop-gap around their perimeter talent depending on Mozgov’s aging curve. Robinson can also provide depth behind Mozgov in the short-term.

Of all the Lakers without guaranteed deals, I like Robinson the most – and that includes Yi. Still, Robinson must prove himself in the preseason.