Although the Los Angeles Lakers have the framework of their new roster set in place, they still have a few spots left to fill at the end of the bench.
The Lakers currently have 12 players under contract heading into the 2021-22 NBA season. As a result, they could be once again looking to keep the 15th and final roster spot open for flexibility purposes.
Reports indicate that they are looking to add another point guard and wing player to the mix to the remaining voids. L.A. seemingly solidified this notion by bringing in veterans Darren Collison, Mike James and Isaiah Thomas for a workout.
However, it appears JaKarr Sampson and Tim Frazier have also landed on their radar, according to NBA insider Marc Stein:
Forward JaKarr Sampson, who spent the past two seasons in Indiana, and veteran guard Tim Frazier are two more free-agent names that have emerged as candidates for the two roster spots that the Lakers plan to fill.
Sampson is certainly an interesting name to come up as a potential candidate to fill the remaining roster spot. Most of his contributions on the Indiana Pacers last season came as a utility man in the frontcourt.
While Sampson may not contribute much offensively as a career 24.8% 3-point shooter, he could make his presence felt on the defensive end of the court.
Frazier’s skill set could be of more use to the Lakers thanks to his playmaking ability with career averages of 5.0 points and 4.0 assists per game. Even if he is not the biggest name on the market, this is a role suited for players accustomed to serving as the 13th or 14th man off the bench.
The depth in the backcourt behind Russell Westbrook largely consists of combo guards like Kendrick Nunn to Malik Monk and Talen Horton-Tucker. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers ultimately opt to bring in a true point guard to potentially help facilitate the offense.
Jared Dudley likely not returning
For the past two years, Jared Dudley took on the role of leader and mentor in the locker room for the young players. His presence served as a stabling factor during the team’s title run in the bubble, which spurred the Lakers to try and run it back last year.
Unfortunately, their early departure from the postseason spurred the front office to usher in some major turnover to the roster. Reports indicate that this now means Dudley’s two-year stint in L.A. has now come to an end.