When the Los Angeles Lakers signed Dennis Schroder to a one-year, $2.64 million contract, it felt like a late-summer surprise for a fanbase that could certainly use one.
Sure, Schroder isn’t exactly a difference-maker who will magically change the fate of the franchise moving forward; at best, he’ll carve out a role alongside Patrick Beverly and Russell Westbrook – which is far from a guarantee – in LA’s backcourt. But after almost signing him to a now-laughable four-year, $84 million contract back in 2021, Rob Polinka has to be lauded for bringing back the well-traveled veteran guard at a serious discount.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Dennis Schröder back to the Lakers,” said Pelinka in a statement announcing the signing, as per ESPN. “Not only do Dennis and Coach Ham share a player-coach history together, but they also reflect one another’s mentality of toughness with an extremely competitive edge. Dennis will add both depth and an on-ball defensive presence to our core at the guard position. He is also a proven scorer and playmaker. We are really excited for Dennis to get to camp and get back to work in L.A. after his highly successful run with his national team this offseason.”
Will Schroder be able to re-capture his former glory in LA? Or will he again be looking for a new team in 2023, marking his fourth in three years? Either way, the Lakers aren’t just resting on their laurels, waiting for the next shoe to drop. No, the Lakers are reportedly working out a half dozen players as they attempt to identify a 15th man heading into the 2022-23 NBA season.
Sources: The Los Angeles Lakers brought in several free agents for workouts, including former lottery picks Shabazz Muhammad and Jeremy Lamb. Dwayne Bacon, Miye Oni and others also worked out for the Lakers, @hoopshype has learned.
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) September 17, 2022
The Los Angeles Lakers have options for roster spot 15.
With Dennis Schroder now in place, and the Lakers likely to sign a 15th-man on a non-guaranteed contract to maintain maximum flexibility heading into the regular season, the team has reportedly brought in a number of former rotation players in the hopes of finding a final performer who can not only make the team but make an impact, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
“Sources: The Los Angeles Lakers brought in several free agents for workouts, including former lottery picks Shabazz Muhammad and Jeremy Lamb. Dwayne Bacon, Miye Oni, and others also worked out for the Lakers, HoopsHype has learned.”
Interesting; based on the players listed, it sure looks like the Lakers are in the market for a playmaking wing who can fill a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope-type role, but do any of these players actually have a chance to turn some heads and make an impact moving forward? While Muhammad, Bacon, and even Oni could theoretically be fine 15th men, there’s one name left on the list who is head and shoulders the obvious get for what the Lakers are looking for.
Jeremy Lamb could be a valuable rotation player in LA.
It’s hard to look at Lambs’ 2021-22 season as anything but a disappointment.
Playing out the final year of a three-year, $31.5 million contract he signed with the Indiana Pacers in 2019, Lamb was traded to the Sacramento Kings alongside Domantas Sabonis and a 2023 second-round pick in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tristan Thompson, and Tyrese Haliburton in February of 2022 and averaged just 7.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while shooting 38.2 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from deep. Factor in his Negative Raptor rating of -0.8 according to FiveThirtyEight, and Lamb’s 2021-22 campaign was easily the worst of his prime and arguably the most disappointing of his career since his early days in OKC.
Still, Lamb is a veteran 3-and-D wing who can dibble a little, play-make a little too, and fill the KCP/Danny Green role of standing in the corner waiting for an outlet pass from a driving Westbrook, Beverly, Schroder, or LeBron James. For the price of a non-guaranteed veteran minimum contract, what more could you really ask for?