In a move that certainly feels like it came a week or two too late, the Lakers are set to workout a pair of big men this week, according to Shams Charania The Athletic. The Lakers have one roster spot open and, with Anthony Davis still set to sit out a back-to-back later this season, a center seems the various obvious choice to sign.
The Los Angeles Lakers are working out free agent centers Tristan Thompson and Tony Bradley this week, sources tell me and @jovanbuha. Thompson, an 11-year NBA veteran, was a key member of the 2016 championship Cavaliers team alongside LeBron James.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 20, 2023
Thompson has not played in the NBA this season after spending time across three teams last year. With the Celtics, Pacers and Bulls in 2021-22, Thompson averaged 6.0 points, 5.1 rebounds in 15.7 minutes per game. One of the best rebounders in the league in his prime, Thompson’s rebound percentage dropped to its lowest mark since 2014-15 last year.
As for Bradley, he has seen action this year, ironically with the Bulls, but only for 12 games. In that span, he averaged 1.6 points and 0.9 rebounds. For his career, Bradley averages 4.4 points and 4.1 rebounds per game across six seasons. Interestingly, Bradley was originally a draft pick of the Lakers, though he was part of the trade that landed the Lakers the rights to Thomas Bryant and Josh Hart on draft night in 2017.
Neither particularly move the needle, but realistically, the Lakers will only need them for one upcoming game if they are signed. AD almost certainly won’t play on the second night of a back-to-back against the Clippers on April 5, and the Lakers will need another center alongside Wenyen Gabriel, who has played well in recent contests.
This move would have been a lot more useful prior to the team’s game against Houston recently in which Davis sat and the team lost. Better late than never?
It’s not guaranteed the Lakers will sign either of these two, though. Earlier this season, the Lakers worked out Meyers Leonard and DeMarcus Cousins but never signed either player. It’s most notable that the team is working out somebody in preparation for that upcoming back-to-back.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.