NBA Rumors: Heat lowball Blazers, Lakers spoil Summer League, Brooks gets crazy

Duncan Robinson, Damian Lillard, Miami Heat (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
Duncan Robinson, Damian Lillard, Miami Heat (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /
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Colin Castleton (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Colin Castleton (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

NBA Rumors: Lakers could spoil Colin Castleton’s Summer League breakout

The best rookie at Summer League for the Los Angeles Lakers has not been No. 17 pick Jalen Hood-Schifino. It hasn’t been No. 40 pick Maxwell Lewis either. Instead, undrafted free agent Colin Castleton has been the shining gem of LA’s run in Vegas.

It’s too early for definitive proclamations, but Castleton is already forcing teams who passed on him to re-evaluate their decision. He’s averaging 15.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.3 blocks in 25.6 minutes per game. He’s hitting 69.7 percent of his shot attempts and anchoring the Summer Lakers’ defense with his gaping wingspan and tremendous shot-blocking instincts.

He looks very much like a player who could earn minutes next season. The Lakers have been searching for another big to share the frontcourt with Davis; why not a player who can rebound, absorb physical contact in the post, and provide interesting ancillary skills on the offensive end like Castleton?

Well, not so fast. The Lakers have been connected to two veteran centers on the free agent market, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic (subscription required): Christian Wood and Bismack Biyombo.

Both are veterans who would take precedent over Castleton for the Lakers, a veteran-led team looking to compete at the highest level. New free agent Jaxson Hayes already muddies Castleton’s realistic path to minutes. Wood or Biyombo would close it off entirely.

Still, it’s hard to blame the Lakers for taking interest in two proven contributors — especially Wood, who averaged 16.6 points and 7.3 rebounds on 62.4 TS% with Dallas last season. He would fit naturally next to AD in the frontcourt as an offensive specialist who can splash 3s, run the floor in transition, and attack seams in the defense off the catch.