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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
O'Neal also took the opportunity to lobby for 7-foot center Soumailia Samake, in camp on a make-good contract. O'Neal said he would like the Lakers to sign a backup center with the size and strength to spell him for 10 minutes or so a game, and apparently he doesn't see that guy among the 12 guaranteed contracts.

"It will put some years on my career if I have a guy like [Samake] backing me up," he said. "I have proven when I get rest ... I'm better."

Samake, who played in Italy last year, had 10 points and 13 rebounds in 26 minutes Friday.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baske...,0,5983593.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-nba
 

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With Samake's size, he would be a decent back up for Shaq. If he can play for about 5-10 productive minutes, pull down some boards and play some D. That would help the big fella out all year long.
 

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There are alot of similar players to Samake, none might be in their camp, but I think O'Neal is just lobbying for a pal to get signed and have a job.

-Petey
 

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Originally posted by <b>Petey</b>!
There are alot of similar players to Samake, none might be in their camp, but I think O'Neal is just lobbying for a pal to get signed and have a job.

-Petey

EXACTLY!!! Just a Big body that can watch over Shaq's back while resting

If Samake makes the team, I'm also hoping he can be productive as well
 

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If Samake can be half as productive as he has been in this preseason, the Lakers are gonna do fine.

Samake had 10 points and 13 rebounds in the last preseason game against the Grizzlies!
 

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I hope the Lakers sign him-no one else on the team is a real center (besides Shaq) and he would be a good backup and could turn out to be a productive player if he gets time.
 

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Originally posted by <b>Wilt_The_Stilt</b>!
I hope the Lakers sign him-no one else on the team is a real center (besides Shaq) and he would be a good backup and could turn out to be a productive player if he gets time.


I'm sure this is the Lakers #1 priority, to sign a big man behind Shaq, Samake has looked solid soo far, that's all we need. I'm hoping any of those other guards make the cut - Pargo or Guyton
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Samake Becomes Player Favorite

Samake Becomes Player Favorite
By Tim Brown, Times Staff Writer

Soumaila Samake, the 7-footer from Mali, in northwest Africa, smiled at Shaquille O'Neal's insistence that the 13th Laker, assuming there is one, would be Samake.
It was late Saturday night in Oklahoma City and Samake, having led the Lakers in rebounding for a second consecutive exhibition game, walked slowly through a concrete tunnel toward an idling bus._ _ _
_Teammates passed and jabbed at his arm. Samake peered down at them and nodded. O'Neal's favorite has become theirs too, along with Jannero Pargo, the spindly guard from Arkansas.
The securing of roster spots in training camp often has little regular-season bearing for the Lakers, who have their eight or nine rotation players and then a handful of practice players, in all 12 on guaranteed contracts in an era when NBA owners are bracing for the dollar-for-dollar luxury tax.
The Lakers carried 15 players two years ago and 13 last season and are considering going with 12 this year, even with O'Neal unlikely to be available when the season opens in a little more than two weeks. Phil Jackson is asked about a 13th man, and he narrows his eyes and says, "We'll see." The players are of a more-the-merrier spirit. They believe Samake, 24, is the pure backup center they've lacked and Pargo is the point guard who can push the basketball.
Depending on what the league finances look like come next summer, Jerry Buss could be $10 million into the luxury-tax bracket (with a payroll of about $61 million), and he's certain to consider the ramifications of another salary or two on top of that, no matter how small.
And so in that economic environment, Samake looked upon his opportunity with a little curiosity. He may play well and there may be no job. He may play well and have Jackson decide the greater need is in the backcourt.
"I do not know what to tell you," he said in thick, measured English. "I just try my best."
Samake, who did not play college basketball, played last season in Sicily. He played 34 games for the New Jersey Nets two seasons ago. He is occasionally awkward but is heavy on potential, and Jackson acknowledged after Samake's 10-point, 13-rebound game in Little Rock that his talent was "intriguing."
"I've been so-so," Samake said. "I want to be much better."

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baske...767.story?coll=la-headlines-sports-nba-lakers
 
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