Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Isaiah Thomas Workout, Kemba Walker, Jared Dudley

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 20, 2021

Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Isaiah Thomas Workout, Kemba Walker, Jared Dudley

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    A busy offseason for the Los Angeles Lakers continues.

    It's not as hectic as it was when the Lakers brokered a blockbuster trade for Russell Westbrook ahead of the NBA draft and then turned over most of the roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis in free agency. But the decision-makers are doing more than dotting Is and crossing Ts.

    Let's find out what's happening with a breakdown of the latest buzz in Laker Land.

Lakers Work out 3 Veterans, Including 2-Time All-Star Isaiah Thomas

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    The Lakers aren't finished filling out their roster and are reportedly considering some well-known NBA names for one of the final spots.

    They recently worked out Isaiah Thomas, Darren Collison and Mike James, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported.

    Thomas booked two All-Star trips across a 10-year NBA career and finished fifth in the 2016-17 MVP voting, but he's been unable to shake a hip injury and made just three appearances on a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Pelicans last season. Collison averaged double-digits in each of his 10 NBA seasons and retired upon the 2018-19 campaign's conclusion. The 31-year-old James has scattered 49 games across two NBA seasons, making 13 appearances for the Brooklyn Nets in 2020-21.

    L.A. has 12 players under guaranteed contracts and plans to carry 14 into the season, per Haynes. The Lakers are reportedly prioritizing "a third point guard" and could also add a wing.

L.A. Liked Kemba Walker, Talked to OKC About Trade

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    Boston Globe/Getty Images

    As soon as the Oklahoma City Thunder acquired Kemba Walker from the Boston Celtics in June, win-now shoppers with openings at point guard took note.

    As a 30-something veteran on a long-term rebuilder, he was a fish out of water. His stay in the Sooner State never figured to be long—and it wasn't. He was waived by the Thunder and wound up signing with his hometown New York Knicks.

    In a different universe, though, Walker might be rocking Purple and Gold. The Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers reportedly expressed interest but couldn't work out a trade with the Thunder, per Marc Berman of the New York Post.

    There probably aren't enough legs to this story to give it a long shelf life as one of the NBA's great what-if scenarios, but a Lakers team with Walker would look dramatically different.

    Presumably, that would have kept them out of the running for Russell Westbrook, in which case L.A. might have retained the three players it traded away to get him (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell). And since Walker is a much better outside shooter than Westbrook, the Lakers might not have been nearly as concerned with their spacing and could have invested their free-agency funds elsewhere.

Jared Dudley 'Likely' Finished with Lakers

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Happy trails, Jared Dudley.

    If the well-traveled forward is on an NBA roster for what would be his 15th big league season, it apparently won't be the Lakers'.

    "With the intention of signing two more players and leaving a roster spot open, it means Jared Dudley's two-year tenure with the organization will likely come to an end," Haynes reported.

    Dudley is a respected veteran who's great for a locker room, but this experienced Lakers squad probably sees more value in someone more likely to see the floor. Dudley logged fewer than 450 minutes across 57 games the past two seasons and only hit the hardwood 12 times for a total of 81 minutes in 2020-21.

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