The Los Angeles Lakers have been shopping around the NBA for veterans to sign at discount prices this summer, and after his workout for the team on Wednesday, the Lakers are interested in 25-year-old forward Austin Daye, according to Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD. No deal is imminent, but the Lakers are still looking for contributors, and Daye is a California native who played his high school basketball in Irvine prior to his college career at Gonzaga. A roster spot may be available, because Kennedy notes that free agent forward Antawn Jamison is unlikely to re-sign with the Lakers, and that the Charlotte Bobcats are the frontrunner to sign him.
Daye, a 6'11 forward with a wiry frame and diverse skill set, was drafted No. 15 overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 2009 NBA Draft as the successor to Tayshaun Prince, but he has since struggled to make his mark in the NBA. Daye played three-plus years with the Pistons before being traded to the Grizzlies as part of the Rudy Gay deal. In his four NBA seasons, Daye has averaged 5.6 points on 41 percent shooting to go with 2.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.7 turnovers per game.
The 2012-13 campaign marked perhaps his most successful season as a professional, as he posted career-high 55.4 percent true shooting percentage and a 12.9 Player Efficiency Rating (PER) in 12.3 minutes per game for the Pistons and Grizzlies. Those aren't overly inspiring stats, but in late July it's difficult to find a game-changing talent willing to sign for the veteran's minimum. A deal with Daye would be a speculative play that something has finally clicked with his game.