Lakers Are Expected to Sign Intriguing Former Starter: Report

rob pelinka

Getty Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka.

The Los Angeles Lakers are closing in on several roster moves heading into the start of training camp. The Lakers are nearing a deal with former Magic starting guard Dwayne Bacon, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

“Sources: The Lakers plan to sign G/F Matt Ryan on a non-guaranteed deal,” Charania tweeted on September 25, 2022. “Four-year NBA veteran Dwayne Bacon is also working toward training camp deal with the Lakers. Ryan was with the Celtics on a two-way last season.”

Bacon averaged 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 28.5% from long range during 72 games last season, including 50 starts. The Lakers mark Bacon’s third team as the guard played his first three seasons with the Hornets.

Bacon will have to work his way into making the final Lakers roster but could give Los Angeles some added wing depth. One of the more interesting storylines heading into camp is how the point guard depth chart will play out. The Lakers have a crowded backcourt with Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley and Dennis Schroder all fighting for minutes at point guard.

Lakers Players Held Their Own Camp in San Diego

The Lakers technically begin training camp on September 26, but the team has already been hard at work. According to NBA insider Marc Stein, Lakers players hosted their own camp at San Diego State one week prior to the official start date and had nearly perfect attendance with the exception of Dennis Schroder.

“The Lakers get started today after their players-only minicamp last week at San Diego State organized by LeBron James,” Stein detailed on September 26. “I’m told the camp drew full attendance apart from Dennis Schroder, who is working through the visa process to re-enter the USA after his Germany NT summer.”

All Signs Point to Westbrook Beginning the Season With the Lakers

Despite plenty of trade rumors throughout the offseason, Westbrook is expected to start the season with the Lakers. During a September 25 feature with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Westbrook dismissed the idea that he needs to feel wanted by the Lakers.

Westbrook is heading into the final year of his deal with the Lakers and is slated to have a $47 million salary. Los Angeles could still explore a deal for Westbrook ahead of the trade deadline on February 9.

“I don’t need to [feel wanted],” Westbrook explained. “I need to just do my job. Whether I’m wanted or not doesn’t really matter. I think the most important thing is that I show up for work and I do the job like I’ve always done it: Be professional and go out and play my a** off and compete.”

Westbrook also appears to be on good terms with the two other Lakers stars, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. New head coach Darvin Ham has repeatedly expressed his excitement to see how the superstars can mesh together in his system. The Los Angeles guard revealed optimism about the upside the trio still possesses.

“There’s so much optimism on how we can be great, how AD, LeBron, myself — can be unstoppable in my opinion,” Westbrook added.

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