Lakers

Lakers Rumors: Los Angeles Working Out More Free Agents?

However, one of those free agents disputes the rumor.

Dennis Schröder may not be the only unrestricted free agent the Lakers have been examining in the waning days of the 2022 offseason. Apparently, the Lakers are looking to fill out their roster.

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Michael Scotto of HoopsHype writes that the Lakers have been holding workouts for a variety of free agents, among them point guards Sharife Cooper and Mychal Mulder; shooting guards Jeremy Lamb, Armoni Brooks, Dwayne Bacon, and Miye Oni; and small forward Shabazz Muhammad. Judging by the names involved, it would appear that Los Angeles is considering depth on the wing.

Though Lamb may be the bigget name among these players, he may have the least upside at this point in his career. A former athletic sharpshooter, the 30-year-old hasn’t been the same since tearing his lateral meniscus and left ACL and also fracturing his lateral femoral condylar in February 2020 while playing for the Indiana Pacers. The 29-year-old Muhammad has been out of the league for four years. The most promising possibilities are the wings who may still have some untapped upside, namely Brooks, Bacon, and Oni.

L.A. has 12 players signed to its standard 15-man roster on guaranteed deals. Shooting guard Austin Reaves and power forward Wenyen Gabriel are inked to non-guaranteed contracts, though it seems likely that at least Reaves will be retained through the season. The team also has former Vanderbilt point guard Scotty Pippen Jr. and former Syracuse forward Cole Swider signed to both its two-way contracts.

Scotto also indicated that former Laker Isaiah Thomas had also practiced for the franchise this summer. Thomas disputed Scotto’s claim, at least as far his own workout with Los Angeles was concerned.

Given that the Lakers are fielding a backcourt that is already severely overpopulated by too many aging or injury-prone point guards, the idea of wanting to add yet another one is pretty insane, especially a 5’9″ point guard who only lasted for one 10-day contract with L.A. last season. In his peak days with the Boston Celtics, Thomas was a two-time All-Star and league MVP candidate. But a major hip injury greatly impacted his career trajectory, and he has never been the same player since.

To be fair, Thomas did look better following disastrous 10-day contract stints with the Lakers and Mavericks last year, when he signed a 10-day deal with the Charlotte Hornets in March. His performance with LaMelo Ball and co. impressed Hornets management, who brought him back for a second 10-day deal before ultimately opting to keep him around for the rest of the 2021-22 season. Cumulatively, he averaged 8.3 points, 1.5 assists and 1.3 rebounds across his 22 games with the three clubs, in just 15.1 minutes a night.

It will be intriguing to see if these rumors yield another new Laker in the coming weeks. But the real substantive addition(s) to the roster at this point would arrive via trade.

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