O.C. Register: Brandon Heath knew why he was at the courts. It wasn’t any secret that he was there to help work out Josh Powell, a 6-foot-9 post player, whom the Lakers had their eye on.
It was a tryout for a big man, someone to replace Ronny Turiaf. Mitch Kupchak and other Lakers personnel there that afternoon were not interested in point guards.
But Kupchak left the Athletic Hangar Xchange in Hawthorne that afternoon having been impressed by more than just Powell’s deft moves under the basket. He returned to his office apparently excited about Heath’s performance.
“My agent called me afterward and told me that the Lakers thought I had played really well,” Heath said Wednesday in a phone interview. “And that they were serious about giving me a look.”
After several tense days of waiting by the phone, Heath’s agent finally called with the news – the Lakers wanted to sign the free agent to a nonguaranteed contract.
“I’m so happy it worked out,” said Heath, who was days away from signing a deal that would have taken him back to Europe. “I knew they were looking for a big man that day, but I saw it as an opportunity to show them what I could do.”
Heath, a 6-foot-3 point guard out of San Diego State, spent last season playing in France for Entente Orleans, where he averaged 12 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 25 games.