Sekou Doumbouya has found a new home with the Los Angeles Lakers after being jettisoned by the Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets this offseason. Doumbouya is progressing toward a two-way deal with the injury-plagued Lakers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Injuries were always going to be a concern for the veteran-laden Lakers team, but they are also losing younger players to injury. Trevor Ariza (to be clear, not a young player) is out two months after surgery on his ankle, Talen Horton-Tucker is scheduled to have surgery on a torn ligament in his thumb that will see him out for an extended period, Kendrick Nunn is out with an akle sprain and Malik Monk is dealing with a groin strain.
Doumbouya, still just 20 years old, will provide depth at the forward positions and gets a chance to continue to develop in the G League on a two-way deal.
The French forward was a polarizing disappointment during his brief stint in Detroit. To some he was another sign of a team giving up too early on developmental players. To others it was the last remnant of the previous regime’s draft follies and getting rid of someone who was clearly not going to be an NBA player.
Perhaps both are correct.
Doumbouya averaged 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds on 38% shooting in 17.3 minutes in 94 games with Detroit. He struggled to develop a jump shot, was undersized even as it was clear he was best suited as an NBA power forward, and struggled to do anything particularly well.
He was drafted just outside the lottery by Ed Stefanski and was the last player standing when Troy Weaver overhauled the roster up to the trade deadline last season. But this offseason he was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets along with Jahlil Okafor in exchange for four second-round picks and the right to buy-out the contract of DeAndre Jordan. Jordan is owed $10 million next season.
The Nets eventually rerouted Sekou to the Houston Rockets with a second-round pick as sweetener, and Doumbouya was eventually released.
Landing on a potential title team with zero expectations and the chance to slowly develop is probably the best-case scenario for Sekou. We’ll see what happens.