Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Isaiah Thomas, Dennis Schroder and More

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2021

Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Isaiah Thomas, Dennis Schroder and More

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    It's been an interesting offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers thus far, to say the least. L.A. heavily revamped its roster in the early days of free agency, trading for Russell Westbrook and acquiring the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Kendrick Nunn and Wayne Ellington.

    Los Angeles also brought back restricted free agent Talen Horton-Tucker on a new three-year deal. Of course, LeBron James and Anthony Davis haven't gone anywhere.

    The Lakers probably aren't quite finished making moves, either. One player who won't be back, though, is point guard Dennis Schroder, who recently signed a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics.

    Does Schroder regret not staying with the Lakers? Who might be added in the not-too-distant future? What's going on with the Lakers' G League affiliate? Let's take a look at the latest buzz.

Lakers Could Have Interest in Isaiah Thomas

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Guys like Howard, Ellington and Trevor Ariza are making their returns to Los Angeles, and L.A. could bring back another former Laker too. According to NBA insider Marc Stein, they have considered signing free-agent guard Isaiah Thomas.

    "The Lakers, among various free-agent candidates they are still considering, have weighed the potential signing of Isaiah Thomas, league sources say," Stein tweeted.

    While Thomas only appeared in three games with the New Orleans Pelicans last season, he still has the offensive skills needed to be a viable NBA contributor. He recently scored 81 points in a game at the Crawsover Pro-Am in Seattle. That performance got the attention of former and potentially future teammate James.

    "Yessir Killa!! Keep going my G!" James tweeted.

    If the Lakers are interested in Thomas, the interest could be mutual. He recently talked about L.A.'s new roster on ESPN's Jalen & Jacoby podcast and sounded quite impressed.

    "I think they’re getting ready for that NBA championship run," Thomas said (h/t Jonathan Adams of Heavy). "The guys that they got on their team, they're playoff-ready. They've been in every situation possible."

    Thomas previously played with James during a brief stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Schroder May Not Have Received a Lakers Offer After All

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    Ashley Landis/Associated Press

    Schroder's deal with Boston is worth the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.89 million, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. That's a far cry from the four-year, $84 million extension the Lakers reportedly offered him during the 2020-21 season.

    As Schroder waited to find a team in free agency and watches as his market fizzled, there was a prevailing thought that he was regretting turning down the Lakers' offer.

    "He needs time—I think he's in a state of shock because of what he's done," a source told Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald.

    "Things that make you go hmmmmmm," NBA legend and TNT analyst Shaquille O'Neal said on Instagram.

    However, Schroder may not have received an official offer from Los Angeles. According to ESPN's Jay Williams, a source has indicated that he did not.

    "A lot comments abt Dennis Schroder lately 'turning down 4yr 84 mil'. But what I'm hearing from a credible source is that there was never an 'official' offer made. Interesting!" Williams tweeted.

    Whether Schroder did, in fact, receive a firm offer from Los Angeles is moot. He's a Celtic, and the Lakers continue to distance themselves from their 2020-21 supporting cast.

Lakers in Talks with Assistant Miles Simon to Coach South Bay

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    While the Lakers are focused on building their roster for this season, they are also focused on developing players for the future. Their G League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers, has produced quality NBA contributors such as Alex Caruso in the recent past, and L.A. would obviously love for that trend to continue.

    The problem is that the South Bay Lakers don't have a head coach. Former coach Coby Karl is not returning after serving in the role since 2016.

    The Lakers may look to assistant Miles Simon to fill the vacancy.

    "The Lakers and Miles Simon are in talks to make Simon the head coach of the Lakers G League team—the South Bay Lakers, sources tell ESPN," ESPN's Zach Lowe tweeted. "Simon would also retain a role on Frank Vogel's staff with the Lakers."

    Simon has been an assistant for L.A. since 2017 and, per Lowe, would not cede that role to take on the South Bay job. That could be a boon for the Lakers, as familiarity with both rosters theoretically would allow Simon to better develop players to fit Los Angeles' needs.