Which 2013 Free-Agent Gamble Is Most Likely to Pan Out for the LA Lakers?

Not long ago, the Los Angeles Lakers had the luxury of gambling on unheralded players and not necessarily depending on them for production. If a gamble worked out? Great. If it didn't? They were still great.

The Lakers usually hit more than they missed when it came to these unheralded free-agent or trade acquisitions. Guys like Devean George, Trevor Ariza and Shannon Brown outplayed their previous reputations and seemed to fit perfectly within a very defined system.

Mike D'Antoni is no Phil Jackson, obviously, but the Lakers are once again digging in the discard pile for someone who can play a very distinct offensive style. The only difference now? The Lakers need the help.

With 11 guaranteed contracts on the books (and second-round pick Ryan Kelly likely earning a spot as well), these players may be fighting for just one or two spots. Let's handicap the race.


Elias Harris, F, Partially Guaranteed Contract

At one point during his freshman season at Gonzaga, Elias Harris was projected by some scouts to be a late lottery pick. Four years later, he went undrafted. Although the hype balloon deflated for Harris over time, there's still hope that the German forward can ride his high offensive skill level to an NBA roster spot.

Harris does face more than a few obstacles in the NBA. At 6'8", he's a classic tweener who probably isn't quick enough to guard NBA 3s, but might not be big enough to help man the back line of an NBA defense, either. 

What Harris has going in his favor, however, is a pretty good touch on his jumper. Harris was a 35 percent career three-point shooter on mostly wide-open attempts at Gonzaga, but his mid-range game is solid and he's a physical defensive rebounder as well.

Bottom line: Harris has to knock down a lot of jumpers to have a chance to make the team.

The Lakers were impressed enough with his summer league performance to ...

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