Darius Johnson-Odom drives against the Kings during a summer league game. (NBA.com )
The Lakers hope to break a four-game losing streak on Friday night in Washington against the Wizards.
Meanwhile the Lakers' D-League affiliate just ended a similar four-game slide. The D-Fenders beat the Reno Bighorns on Thursday, 113-102, to improve to 3-4 on the season.
Lakers rookie guard Darius Johnson-Odom has played in all seven games, averaging a team-high 20.4 points per game along with 5.6 assists. Against the Bighorns, he scored 28 points while dishing nine assists and making all 10 of his free-throw attempts.
While Johnson-Odom may be one of the best players on the D-Fenders, he's not quite ready to help the struggling Lakers. He still has to prove he can compete against NBA-caliber talent.
The Lakers may need to add a piece to help at guard with Steve Nash (leg) and Steve Blake (abdominal surgery) out with injury. With 15 players under contract (unless the team finds a trade), the Lakers will need to cut someone to make room.
Rookie center Robert Sacre and Johnson-Odom are the only two Lakers playing without guaranteed contracts. Sacre is a hard-working practice player and enthusiastic teammate. Johnson-Odom has shown enough in the D-League to suggest he's a project worth developing.
The Lakers need to improve somehow but Johnson-Odom may have given the team some significant pause when it comes to opening up a roster spot.
Lakers vs. Hornets: Kobe surpasses 30,000 points in 103-87 win
Ryan Anderson an easy target, difficult acquisition for Lakers
Metta World Peace surpasses 12,000 points in his career
Email Eric Pincus at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @EricPincus.