10 legendary former Lakers of 2021-22 still looking for work this off-season

If the theme for the free agency direction of the Los Angeles Lakers last summer was established and familiar, then this off-season LA’s signature outline can best be described as fresh and emerging.

The Lakers’ new coach, Darwin Hamm, said of his team’s free agency class, “I think we’ve gotten smaller, I think we’ve grown faster, I think we’re hungry.” Lonnie Walker IV (23), Troy Brown Jr., (23), Thomas Bryante (25), Damien Jones (27) and Juan Toscano-Anderson (29).

In contrast in 2021, when the nine players the Lakers signed were 30 years of age or older on veteran-minimum contracts – six of whom had prior experience with the franchise. Not to mention two additional players in their 30s when LA signed 10-day contracts after COVID-19 compromised the team midseason, one of whom – Isaiah Thomas – Was also coming back for a second stint with Purple and Gold. This was a flawed approach and a major contributing factor to the Lakers’ struggles as well. Russell Westbrookfall of, lebron james And Anthony Davis Combination to miss 68 games due to injuries and former coach Frank Vogel’s inability to fit the pieces.

outside of Carmelo AnthonyThe performance of, which should at best be considered inspired by a veteran 19-year-old and for at least what you get paid, the collection of thirty-somethings proved to be unbelievable, overwhelming, and injury-prone.

Now, more than a month into 2022 free agency and with teams from around the league but finished filling out their roster for the upcoming season, 10 of those 11 legendary players have once gone on to cement the Lakers’ championship chase. Role-playing players selected. Still looking for work.

And the only player out of that group to join a new team this summer – deandre jordanwho signed for the minimal veteran with the Denver Nuggets – ending last season in Philadelphia after LA waived him in March.

Here’s a look at the former Lakers standing on the unemployment line and our front office insider Bobby Marks making his predictions about where each player could land next season.

Stats: 13.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.0 epg

What went right in 2021-22: Anthony and James became the first pair of 19-year veterans to become teammates in NBA history. The Lakers went 10-6 when Anthony scored four or more 3 runs in a game. Vogel credits Anthony with winning a few games on the defensive side of the ball early in the season, when he had two blocks and one steal against Memphis in late October, and four blocks and two steals against Houston a week later. Anthony was also named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team and went on to Moses Malone From No. 10 to No. 9 on the all-time scoring list.

What went wrong in 2021-22: Anthony’s warm start to the season (16.7 points per game at 50% off the field and 3 to 52.2% in October) gradually cooled (13.3ppg in November at 40.6%/37.4% and December at 40%/34.1%) 11.8 ppg) ) as he was relied on to play a bigger role and the rest of the roster was affected by injuries.

Best suited for this season: Anthony can still help the Lakers but there is a clear emphasis on young players off the bench. New York has two open roster spots and possibly more if a Donovan Mitchell Business takes place. Returning to his former team is Anthony’s best option. – Bobby Marks

Stats: 6.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 0.6 epg

What went right in 2021-22: There was a late November game in Sacramento when the Lakers, who were trailing by double digits in the first half, came back to win thanks to Howard’s effort after the break, as he finished with 12 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks. happened. and 2 thefts. Typically, when called for and given more than just spot minutes, Howard put up productive numbers for an 18-year veteran.

What went wrong in 2021-22: It never came together in Howard’s third stint with the Lakers, from being involved in a brawl during a timeout with Anthony Davis in the second game of the season to being snubbed from the NBA’s 75th anniversary team. And with Jordan, Davis, and James getting the lion’s share of minutes in the center, they never got a coherent role.

Best suited for this season: On paper, the north is Brooklyn, but the chances are we see ben simmons Playing most of the minutes in the center. mesh is also Nick Claxton And De’ron Sharp In the backup role. Golden State Could Use Howard But Only If James Wiseman a blow and Andre Iguodala retired. The Clippers have a size requirement, but because of the tax implications, they won’t hold 15 guaranteed contracts to start the season. — scar

Stats: 6.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 0.8 epg

What went right in 2021-22: Bradley was cut by the Golden State Warriors in training camp and found himself back with the Lakers after a long time, a chance to rejoin the team after dropping out of joining them for a championship run in the bubble of 2020 found. He converted his non-guaranteed deal into a full-season contract and went to the LA . for 45 starters

What went wrong in 2021-22: Bradley was one of several Lakers who entered health and safety protocols in mid-December and did the L.A. sputter, going 0-5 in that stretch. The Lakers went 5–1 in the first six games – a testament to his value – but his success was partly a result of Vogel being the favourite, who was trapped by him on nights where he struggled aggressively. when other role players were quick to get the hook.

Best suited for this season: Chances are Bradley will have to sign a non-guaranteed contract and earn a roster spot during training camp. A team like the Phoenix Suns could use him in the case Cameron Payne struggle, but due to their luxury tax status, it is unlikely they will take 15 players to start the season. His former team, the Boston Celtics, has two open roster spots, but they are also a tax team. — scar

Stats: 3.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.9 epg

What went right in 2021-22: Bezemore began the Lakers’ first 13 games of the season, isolating himself in training camp with his two-way tendency, but was completely out of rotation after losing his starting role.

What went wrong in 2021-22: Not only did Bezmore become a target for frustrated Lakers fans—he went 0-for-15 in a 10-game stretch in November and they heard him about it—he turned down more money from eventual champion Golden State to do so. Warrior for.

Best suited for this season: The Sacramento Kings invite but only as a training camp. The guaranteed contracts for Bazemore are expected to expire on the same day. — scar

Stats: 5.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg, 1.9 epg

What went right in 2021-22: Augustin signed with LA on March 1 after being waived by Houston and made an immediate impact with his shooting—for 8-for-17s in 3 of his first four games. He also went 7-for-7 (3 to 6-for-6) in Cleveland on March 21, helping James to a win at his old stomping ground.

What went wrong in 2021-22: By the time Augustin got to the Lakers, the wheels were falling for the team. While he provided the outside shooting the team lacked, he was another player who excelled on one side of the court while struggling defensively. The fact that he was playing catchup on a team that rarely practiced didn’t help either.

best fit this offseason: Augustin proved in his short stint with the Lakers that he could still provide bench scoring. The team that drafted them, Charlotte, has two open roster spots and no one to back up lamello ball, — scar

Stats: 6.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 0.7 epg

What went right in 2021-22: As advertised, Ellington shot about 40% from downtown. He finished the season with a flourish—both victories—to end on a high note, scoring 28 points on a combined 10-for-19 shooting in the final two games of LA.

What went wrong in 2021-22: Ellington was brought in as a floor spacer to provide a distinctive offensive role, but with the LA team’s defensive rankings sinking to the bottom, Vogel could not continue to play him.

Best suited for this season: Ellington’s best hope is to have a lower roster because of Donovan Mitchell or for New York, Boston or Toronto Kevin Durant Business. If the All-Stars are with their current team at the start of the camp, it is more likely that Ellington will start the season out of the NBA. Ellington still has a role in the league due to his shooting but is more likely to come on a 10-day contract or when more roster spots open closer to the February trading deadline. — scar

Stats: 4.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.4 ppg

What went right in 2021-22: Nothing in Los Angeles. Once Rondo was sold to Cleveland, he helped a youth group build a play-in tournament. Ricky Rubio One went down with an injury at the end of the season.

What went wrong in 2021-22: The Lakers only went 5-13 in the games in which Rondo appeared before being traded to the Cavs. In that short time, his most notable moment was pointing at a courtside fan, who was holding him while pointing the gun with his hand. Rondo was involved in a domestic dispute involving a woman who was issued an emergency protective order and was subsequently sacked.

Best suited for this season: The teams will certainly investigate the alleged domestic violence incident and suspension is certainly possible even if the allegations are dismissed. It’s hard to see Rondo hit a team before the regular season, and he’s likely to become an emergency point guard if an injury occurs during the season. — scar

Stats: 4.0 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.1 epg

What went right in 2021-22: The first five shots Ariza took in her first two games in mid-December were all linked. After that there was nothing left to write at home.

What went wrong in 2021-22: Ariza missed the first 30 games of the season following surgery on her right ankle during training camp. He spent the rest of the season trying to get into game shape, with little practice time to do so. He played only 24 games and was waived with three days remaining in the regular season.

Best suited for this season: Miami Heat or Golden State Warriors, But Only If udonis haslem and Andre Iguodala retired. Both teams keep one roster spot open for each player. Even if there is interest, it is more than likely that Ariza will have to sign a non-guaranteed contract and earn a spot during training camp. — scar

Stats: 1.3 ppg, 0.7 rpg, 1.3 rpg

What went right in 2021-22: After flirting with coming out of retirement to join the Lakers a few years ago, Collison did so last season, signing a 10-day contract after Isaiah Thomas expired.

What went wrong in 2021-22: He played only three games with the Lakers, and his most memorable moment came when he suffered a jersey defect: the nameplate on the back of his uniform peeled off during the game.

Best suited for this season: Collison is in the same position as Rondo, an emergency point guard who is signed in the middle of the season. — scar

Stats: 8.4 ppg, 1.3 rpg, 1.5 epg

What went right in 2021-22: Thomas scored 19 points at the start of his season, a real feel-good moment during an otherwise miserable Lakers season. His time with the Lakers led to follow-up deals with Dallas and Charlotte last season.

What went wrong in 2021-22: He lasted four games in LA and the Lakers lost all four, including a 1-for-11 loss to the Phoenix.

Best suited for this season: How about a reunion with his former team, the Celtics? Boston has two open roster spots, but in addition Malcolm Brogdon Make Thomas expandable? — scar

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