Lakers to ‘Check in With’ Veteran Free Agent Guard: Report

frank vogel rob pelinka

Getty Frank Vogel & Rob Pelinka.

Thanks to the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers stayed put at the trade deadline, they’ve now been connected to several free agents. Names like Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith have been thrown around, but now there’s a new name to keep an eye. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated is now reporting that both Los Angeles teams are looking into a former guard for the Phoenix Suns:

“Tyler Johnson is out there, with the Lakers and Clippers expected to check in with him.”

Johnson isn’t the most exciting player available, but he does fit a need at guard. He’s a decent scorer off the bench as he averages 10.5 points per game over his career. His three-point shooting ability isn’t amazing, which is a concern, but he’s not terrible from beyond the arc.

He was recently waived by the Phoenix Suns and spent most of his career with the Miami Heat. Expect the Lakers to do their due diligence on Johnson.

Tristan Thompson an Option?

If the Lakers strike out on all the potential guards they’re likely to check-in one, they could look to fortify other positions. LeBron James’ former teammate Tristan Thompson could get bought out by the Cleveland Cavaliers and Mannix believes he could interest Los Angeles:

“It’s still possible Cleveland will part ways with Tristan Thompson—the acquisition of Andre Drummond makes that more likely—and there will be an intense chase for Thompson, a physical inside presence with championship experience. But he may be the last difference-maker out there.”

Honestly, it would be a desperation move if the Lakers signed Thompson. He’s shot less than 10 three-pointers in his entire career and he’s not magically going to change. The team doesn’t need big men who can rebound. They already have that. They need shooters and Thompson is one of the worst in the NBA.

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Lakers Miss out on a Few Targets

The Lakers have had rumored interest in many players and just seem to keep striking out. The biggest blow was missing out on Darren Collison. It really seemed like he could come out of retirement to help get his hometown Lakers to the Finals. Despite the team’s best efforts to woo him, he elected to stay retired until the end of the season and he’ll revaluate down the road. The Lakers seemed to be banking on him wearing purple and gold before the playoffs, but that ship has sailed.

The team could’ve also kicked the tires on Marvin Williams, but he decided to go to another contender in Milwaukee. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist would’ve been another option, but he signed with the Dallas Mavericks. Honestly, those two probably wouldn’t have helped moved the needle as much for the Lakers as neither are ball-handlers who can shoot. Fortunately, there are a number of strong options that are still available and it’s likely that Los Angeles does their homework before they pull the trigger on anybody.

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