Semi-serious question: Do the Lakers know they are allowed to acquire players who aren’t either former Lakers, former Rob Pelinka clients, or current Klutch sports clients?
I am only half kidding about this query, because the majority of their roster fits at least one of the above criteria:
- LeBron James — Klutch Sports client
- Anthony Davis — Klutch Sports client
- Trevor Ariza — Former Laker, former Pelinka client
- Kent Bazemore — Former Laker
- Avery Bradley — Former Laker, former Pelinka client
- Wayne Ellington — Former Laker
- Talen Horton-Tucker — Klutch Sports client
- Dwight Howard — Two-time former Laker
- Kendrick Nunn — Klutch Sports client
- Stanley Johnson — Former [South Bay] Laker*
- Mason Jones (two-way contract) — Former [South Bay] Laker*
- Sekou Doumbouya (two-way contract) — Former Laker
*fine, these two are a bit of a stretch, but still.
In short, of the 17 players on the roster, only five (DeAndre Jordan, Malik Monk, Carmelo Anthony, Russell Westbrook and undrafted rookie Austin Reaves) do not fit in at least one of the above three buckets.
Rajon Rondo, who the team moved in a trade to make room for Johnson, was also a former Laker. Cam Reddish and John Wall, the two players they were most definitively connected to at the NBA trade deadline, are both Klutch clients. The perpetually-linked Buddy Hield used to be repped by Pelinka.
So, long story short, the reason I ask about all that is because, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the team might be trying to bring back another former player: Dennis Schröder, who after being dealt to the Rockets at the trade deadline, may get bought out by Houston (emphasis mine):
The buyout market is still to be determined as teams finalize their rest-of-season plans. But some of the top potential names that could make sense for the Lakers if they’re available include Goran Dragić (who’s expected to end up in Dallas), Gary Harris, Dennis Schröder, Eric Bledsoe, Paul Millsap, DeAndre’ Bembry, Mike Muscala, Tomáš Satoranský and Tristan Thompson.
The Lakers explored the possibility of trading for Schröder at the trade deadline, as The Athletic’s Bill Oram reported. While there remains some division internally among the Lakers’ decision-makers regarding Schröder after his uncomfortable departure last summer, there is interest in bringing him back as a backup point guard, according to league sources.
If the Lakers have some trepidation about bringing back this particular former Laker in particular, it’s not really hard to see why. Schröder’s one season in Los Angeles was a rollercoaster that saw him come into camp demanding to start, proudly turn down repeated extension offers from the front office publicly, nearly get traded at the deadline, end up in health and safety protocols multiple times while claiming to be unvaccinated, and throw LeBron James under the bus for not getting the shot in an interview with a German news outlet.
The whole saga, understandably, did not lead to a lot of interest from the Lakers, or around the league, forcing him to sign for the mid-level exception in Boston, as big a bag fumble as anyone in NBA history has ever had.
So why would the Lakers want to bring Schröder back after all that? Well, they suck, for one thing, and after standing pat at the deadline, they could use all the talent they can get, wherever they can get it.
But with so many small guards already, do the Lakers really need a reunion with this particular one?
To be fair, Schröder admittedly provides more on defense than any of the team’s current backcourt options, and — unlike Russell Westbrook — has the late-game trust of head coach Frank Vogel. It’s easy enough to make an argument for him, on paper. Off-paper, though, I’m not sure bringing in another mercurial personality trying to recoup the bag they dropped this summer is the answer for this group.
But still, he’s a former Laker, so we can’t rule it out.
However, at the very least before L.A. makes this move, can someone in the practice facility at least check if Rob Pelinka and Kurt Rambis have NBA league pass? Like, they know you’re allowed to watch the rest of the league, right? That doing so isn’t tampering or cheating?
I’m just saying, it’s at least worth making sure they know.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.