NBA Roundtable

Lakers Ink Gelabale

In Free Agency on September 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm

RealGM reports

Mickael Gelabale will join the Lakers in training camp.”It’s a dream come true for me,” Gelabale told HoopsHype. “It’s a legendary team, with guys like Magic, Kareem, Kobe … I was a fan of the team as a kid.”

Gelabale will sign a non-guaranteed contract with Los Angeles prior to camp.

RealGM link to a Hoopshype article with some quotes from Gelabale

The French swingman claims he’s fully recovered now.

“The knees are very good. It’s 100 per cent,” Gelabale said. “We had some tests in Los Angeles and both of my knees are very, very strong. I’ve been working out a lot and now I’m even able to do things I couldn’t do before.”

The 6-foot-7 Gelabale has relied a lot on his athleticism throughout his career, so being completely healthy is key for him in order to have a chance to make the Lakers’ opening night roster. With a team stucked with scorers, he’ll have to earn his spot showing his defensive skills. There, Gelabale thinks he’s up to the task.

“I had other options in the NBA. Other teams invited me, but I chose the Lakers because I think I can make the team. I can bring my defense to the Lakers. I remember there have been times when I played against Kobe that he would congratulate after the game for being such a good defender. I know it’s going to be hard to make the team, but you have to start somewhere.”

If Gelabale is healthy and able to reproduce his previous level of performance … then I think he has a very good shot at sticking with the Lakers for the rest of the season.

Gelabale likely won’t crack the rotation but he could move ahead of Adam Morrison as the fifth wing in the rotation, playing whenever the Lakers are short handed on the wing or when they need a different type of presence (not Walton or Vujacic) on the court.

Nice little end of the roster signing from LA. They handled it well with the non-guaranteed contract part too, limited the risk.

  1. Good for him. Have to believe Vujacic’s minutes are vulnerable.

    Looking to get the 5th wing spot doesn’t guarantee many minutes but it’s a nice opportunity and would say something about Morrison’s development.

  2. Gelabale is a solid signing for the Lakers, as a still youngish player.

    Athletically and defensively, he might be able to carve out a small niche for himself this season, in the aftermath of Ariza’s departure for Houston and the arrival of a veteran like Artest.

  3. Hey Brothersteve,

    I think Vujacic is playing time is safe for the time-being. The Lakers will give him the opportunities to reproduce his form from the 2007-08 season when he was one of their better bench players and arguably their best bench player in the Conference Finals + Finals.

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