Lakers Expected to Pursue Former LeBron James Teammate

Tristan Thompson

Getty Images Tristan Thompson (13) could be a player the Lakers look to add via the buyout market.

The Los Angeles Lakers remained idle at the trade deadline but could still shake up the roster via the buyout market with names like Goran Dragic or Tristan Thompson.

NBA insider Shams Charania of The Athletic appeared on Bally Sports’ “The Rally” and linked the struggling Lakers to both Dragic and Thompson.

“I think the Lakers would love to get involved with Goran Dragic. Tristan Thompson is another guy who might be in the mix,” Charania said. “It’s a tough situation to be a Laker right now. When you look at the roster at guys like DeAndre Jordan and Kent Bazemore, they really haven’t got much out of those guys. If you have a player coming in, how do you really see a role there? They are trying to go small at times, looking for youth — I don’t know if they know what direction they are going in. But yes, they will be active with the Goran Dragic and Tristan Thompsons of the world.”

Thompson Uncertain Future With Pacers

Thompson has averaged 15 minutes per game in his two appearances with the Pacers, where his future is uncertain. Thompson landed in Indy via the trade that brought Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton to the Pacers from the Kings.

The team is still mulling what to do with him going forward, per James Boyd of the Indianapolis Star.

Thompson’s future in Indiana is unclear. The Pacers are still mulling whether to buyout the rest of the $9.7 million he’s owed on his expiring contract or to bolster their frontcourt with him.

In 33 games this season Thompson is averaging 5.9 points and 5.3 rebounds.

The question for the Lakers if Thompson does get bought out is if they believe he’s is an upgrade over either DeAndre Jordan or Dwight Howard. Thompson comes to the table with a similar skill set, although he has a history playing with LeBron James.

Lakers Expected to Make Dragic ‘Top Priority’

Dragic was dealt from the Raptors to the Spurs, quickly agreeing to a buyout. The 35-year-old former All-Star was sent to Toronto during the offseason from the Heat as part of the Kyle Lowry deal. He never became a part of the Raptors’ plans and sat idle for most of the year.

Dragic is expected to be the Lakers’ top target, per’s Sean Deveney, who spoke to a league executive.

“They need a game-changer and Goran could be that guy, and they know it,” the executive told Deveney. “You’re taking a chance that he does not have much left in the tank, but he is going to have a higher ceiling than anybody else you might sign in the next few weeks. Look, the Lakers have been miserable and they need someone to spark them, and they’re hoping he is the guy. But there is going to be a long list of teams after him. They’re going to have to make a good pitch.”

The Lakers are quickly running out of options to improve the roster and Dragic is the most realistic name the team could land to shake things up. During his last full season in Miami, Dragic averaged 13.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 4.4 assists, shooting the 3-ball at a 37.3% clip.

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