Free agent profile: Dan Gadzuric
This is the 40th post in a series of free-agent profiles that analyzes players and how they might fit in with the Lakers.
New Jersey Nets center Dan Gadzuric
Type of free agent: Unrestricted
Positives: The UCLA product still shows traces of athleticism. He proves dependable on the glass (career average, 4.4 rebounds). His length (6 feet 11) and size (240 pounds) make him defensively imposing. He doesn't fit the Lakers' most urgent needs in backcourt depth and strong shooters. But a cheap, experienced third center would help the Lakers absorb possible injuries to Andrew Bynum and give the other bigs in Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom some rest.
Negatives: Gadzuric's foul rate proves he's nearly as efficient with his fouls (a career 2.4 per game) as his actual production (a career 4.8 points per game). His last two seasons have been curtailed by various injuries, limiting him to 74 games during that stretch. His field-goal percentage has usually hovered just above 40%, making him pretty limited offensively.
Verdict: Gadzuric earned $7.5 million last season in the final year of a six-year contract he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks in the summer of 2005. His price is plummeting because of his market value and the CBA. Even with his limitations, Gadzuric's size makes him a legitimate prospect to give the Lakers a definitive backup center behind Bynum, something they have lacked in recent seasons.
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