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Theo Ratliff Injury Has Lakers Considering Free Agent Centers

Veteran center Theo Ratliff hasn't played a huge role in the L.A. Lakers' hot start to the season, averaging only 8.4 minutes per game, good for ninth on the team. But news that he'll miss at least four weeks due to a knee injury means the Lakers are weighing their free-agent options, reports Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times. With Ratliff and Andrew Bynum sidelined, Pau Gasol remains the Lakers' only option at center unless they try shifting Lamar Odom there.

So, with an eye toward temporarily bolstering their big-man rotation, the Lakers are interested in Jake Voskuhl, Paul Davis, and perhaps even Erick Dampier, says Bresnahan.

Voskuhl last played for the Raptors in the 2008/09 season, and was signed under similar circumstances. He played miserably that year, often to comedic effect: at 6-foot-11, he shot 26.7 percent from the field. He averaged 0.9 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.6 fouls, and 0.4 turnovers.

Davis, a former L.A. Clipper, owns career averages of 2.6 points, 1.9 boards, and 40.2 percent shooting. He appeared in two games for the Wizards last season before being let go. He showed marked improvement as a member of the Orlando Magic's summer-league team in July, scoring 14.8 points per game in just 20.8 minutes, working as a big man rolling to the hoop.

Dampier, the 14-year veteran, is the most famous name Bresnahan mentions, but also potentially the worst fit, as Bresnahan explains:

Another possibility remains veteran Erick Dampier, though it might not be a perfect match. Dampier is expected to want a guaranteed contract for the rest of the season, while the Lakers are looking for a little more mobility in the post.

Dampier, 35, averaged six points and 7.3 rebounds last season for Dallas.

We'll update this StoryStream with any more news about the Lakers' pursuit for an emergency center as it becomes available.