The 2021 NBA free agency moratorium, when teams can begin negotiating with players, officially opens on Monday, Aug. 2, at 3 p.m. PT. But the rumors about where this year’s free agents will go started well, well before then. And in what has become an annual tradition on this website, we’ll be trying to keep track of all of them.
So without further ado, below is a list of every Lakers free agent and player they’ve been connected to in free agency, sorted alphabetically in two lists: Players that are still available that have been connected to the Lakers (including their own free agents!), and players that are reportedly heading elsewhere.
We will be doing our best to keep this as up to date as we can with as many reputable reports as possible, so if you don’t want to endlessly scroll Twitter waiting for every update, or live and die by Shams and Woj alerts on your phone, then bookmark this page, kick back and join the discussion in the comments below.
Available players connected to the Lakers
- Shams Charania of The Athletic reported after the Houston Rockets waived Bradley that “contenders and teams that Bradley previously played for are expected to have strong interest in him.” While he didn’t explicitly name the Lakers, they are both a contender and team Bradley previously played for.
- Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Collison was one of three players to work out for the Lakers in early August.
- Collison has not played since the 2018-19 season, but previously contemplated un-retiring to join the 2019-20 Lakers — even attending a game and sitting courtside with team governor Jeanie Buss — before opting to stay retired.
- Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that Thomas was one of three players to work out for the Lakers in early August. He also got a separate workout in with LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, according to Haynes.
- Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported that the Lakers were “strongly considering” Thomas prior to Rajon Rondo getting bought out.
- NBA Insider Marc Stein had previously reported that Thomas was being considered by the Lakers.
- NBA Insider Marc Stein reported that Sampson is a candidate for one of the Lakers’ final roster spots.
- Ennis started his own Lakers rumors by liking a bunch of tweets suggesting he join the purple and gold.
- But it’s not just tweets fueling those whispers: Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports that the Lakers are one of several teams interested in Ennis.
- According to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers will host Faried for a workout.
- Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that there are whispers around the league that the Cavaliers and Love are working on a buyout. He has not been explicitly connected to the Lakers, but with college teammate Russell Westbrook and fellow Cavaliers champion LeBron James aboard, that feels like only a matter of time.
- That said, for now, Love’s agent is denying that his client has any interest in a buyout. Which is exactly what someone who wants all their money and is not taking a discount on a buyout would say.
- Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that James — who played for the Brooklyn Nets last season — was one of three players to work out for the Lakers in early August.
- NBA Insider Marc Stein reported that Frazier is a candidate for one of the Lakers’ final roster spots.
- Matthews said repeatedly during his exit interview that he wants to “run it back” for a second year in purple and gold.
Players who actually signed with the Lakers
- According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, “multiple league personnel” expected Anthony to try and chase a ring with the Lakers. And Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times confirmed that Anthony wants to join the Lakers, and is just waiting to get a call when free agency opens.
- On Tuesday, that call came. Melo announced himself that he’s joining the Lakers.
- Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report first wrote that the Lakers were a team to watch for if Jordan gets a buyout from the Nets, and he is now heading to Los Angeles when he clears waivers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
- Dwight Howard
- Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reports that Howard is “ready to return” for a third stint with the Lakers when free agency begins.
- Kyle Goon of the O.C. Register added that Howard “might be in the mix to return.”
- NBA Insider Marc Stein wrote that Howard’s return to the Lakers is viewed in league circles as “inevitable.” Soon enough, he was proven right, as Dwight is back.
- After no previous rumors connecting the two sides, the Lakers quickly swooped in and picked up Nunn with their mid-level exception after the Heat pulled his qualifying offer.
- Bazemore was literally never connected to the team by rumors prior to free agency, but is joining the roster nonetheless on a one-year deal.
- After absolutely zero previous rumors tying him to the team, Monk will join Los Angeles in free agency.
- Ramona Shelburne of ESPN mentioned that Rondo was a “candidate” to return to the Lakers if the Memphis Grizzlies bought him out, and on Saturday, that happened. Barring a last minute change, multiple reports are that Rondo will return to the Lakers when he clears waivers on Monday.
- Horton-Tucker was expected to have “multiple suitors” in free agency, but the Lakers got a new deal done with him before another team could even give him an offer sheet.
- Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported that Ariza was a candidate to join the Lakers this summer, and shortly after free agency started, he came to terms with the team on a deal to return.
- Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported that Ellington has interest in returning to the Lakers, who he played for during the 2014-15 season, and NBA insider Marc Stein wrote that Ellington was among the “prime free agents of interest” for the team.
- Less than two hours into free agency, he was a Laker (again).
Players connected to the Lakers who went elsewhere
- Zach Lowe of ESPN reported that Caruso would have “multiple suitors” in free agency, and he quickly agreed to terms with one, leaving for the Bulls less than three hours into free agency.
- Before the season ended, the Lakers were “confident” they could get Caruso to return because he loved playing with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, something he’s said will factor into his eventual decision.
- Drummond was noncommittal about returning to the Lakers when asked about it during his exit interview. He later called a fan asking him to take the veteran’s minimum on Instagram to return “drunk” and blasted the team’s coaching staff for not playing him more.
- As a result, it’s not a surprise that Drummond has departed, signing a one-year deal with the Sixers.
- Shams Charania of The Athletic said that Iguodala has narrowed his choices in free agency down to the Lakers, Warriors and Nets, but as expected, Iguodala ultimately chose Golden State.
- Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times previously reported that Iguodala was a candidate to join the Lakers this summer.
- McLemore said “we’ll see” when asked at his exit interview whether or not he’ll be back with the Lakers.
- We saw, and he left for the Portland Trail Blazers.
- NBA insider Marc Stein reported that the Lakers wanted Jones before the Sacramento Kings guaranteed his contract.
- Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that the Lakers were pursuing a reunion with their former starting shooting guard in free agency. His former teammate, Dwight Howard, even tried to recruit him back.
- However, Green is returning to the Sixers, his podcast co-host Harrison Sanford reports.
- League insiders expected DeRozan to consider heading home to Los Angeles on a discount, but Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that the possibility of him doing so was “eliminated” when the Lakers traded Kyle Kuzma, who the Spurs would have taken for DeRozan in a theoretical sign-and-trade.
- Sam Amick of The Athletic similarly reported that DeRozan “had serious interest in finding a way to play for his hometown Lakers via sign-and-trade with San Antonio, but the Westbrook move ended that possibility.”
- It appears that was true, because DeRozan is now heading to the Bulls on a three-year, $85 million deal. Just slightly more than the $5.9 million annually the Lakers could offer. Lol.
- Previously, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported that DeRozan would be willing to take a pay cut to join the Lakers, and DeRozan called joining the team he grew up rooting for “a great opportunity.”
- Veteran NBA insider Marc Stein reported that the Lakers were giving off “vibes” that they wanted to move on from Schröder even before their trade for Russell Westbrook.
- Brian Windhorst of ESPN wrote that Schröder was expected to draw interest from Billy Donovan (his former Thunder head coach) and the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks were also expected to express interest in Schröder, according to multiple reports.
- After those teams used their cap space, however, the only team that has been tangibly connected to Schröder has been the Celtics.
- Schröder and the Lakers did not have a lot of contact prior to free agency, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
- Schröder eventually signed with the Celtics for the taxpayer midlevel exception of $5.9 million.
- The Miami Heat exercised their team option on Dragic, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, likely plan to use his contract in a trade.
- Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times originally reported that Dragic was among the “names to look out for” for the Lakers.
- Dudley said he was “1,000%” returning to the Lakers for a third straight season, and was also in attendance at the dinner where LeBron and AD recruited Russell Westbrook.
- However, as a result of the team wanting to leave a roster spot open for the buyout market, the Lakers opted to let Dudley go. He joined the Mavericks as an assistant coach.
- Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported that Green was among the “names to look out for” for the Lakers, but Green ultimately signed with the Nuggets.
- The Lakers were among the teams to court Lou Williams before he returned to Atlanta, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
- Markieff Morris had offers early in free agency from the Miami Heat and other teams, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
- And after giving the Lakers a bit of time — and despite previously saying he hoped to finish his career with the Lakers — Morris has departed for the Heat.
- Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Mills was a name to watch for the Lakers, and NBA insider Marc Stein reported he was among the “prime free agents of interest” for the team.
- However, Mills’ interest was elsewhere, as he instead signed with the Brooklyn Nets.
- Bullock is expected to sign with the Dallas Mavericks, according to NBA insider Marc Stein.
- Marc Berman of The New York Post had previously reported that the Lakers, Sixers, Celtics and Knicks are expected to chase Bullock in free agency. Bullock last played for the Lakers in 2019 following a midseason trade.
- Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report wrote that Gay was expected to consider taking a pay cut to join the Lakers, but he has instead headed to sign with the Utah Jazz.
- Mykhailiuk considered joining the Lakers on a minimum deal, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, but ultimately headed to the Toronto Raptors.