Sunday, September 25, 2022

Lakers may bring former lottery picks out of retirement: report

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The Los Angeles Lakers may be able to add several former lottery picks as the team prepares to begin training camp. Michael Scotto from HoopsHype reported The Lakers welcomed Shabazz Muhammad, Jeremy Lamb and other former highly acclaimed draft prospects for practice.

“Sources: The Los Angeles Lakers brought in several free agents to practice, including former lottery picks Shabazz Muhammad and Jeremy Lamb,” Scotto tweeted on Sept. 17, 2022. “Dwayne Bacon, Miye Oni and others have also trained for the Lakers, @hoopshype learned.”

This is Muhammad’s second Lakers practice session this offseason when the forward visited the team in July, according to Scotto. The veteran wing hasn’t played an NBA regular-season game since the 2017-18 season, when he was with both the Timberwolves and Bucks.

Muhammad has been pushing for another NBA opportunity since last season. After being selected No. 14 in the 2013 NBA draft, Muhammad played in The Association for five seasons. During an interview with Scotto in March, Muhammad cited scoring as one of the most important things he can bring to an NBA team if given another chance.

“I think obviously [I bring] achieved,” Muhammad noted at the time. “There are a lot of small balls in the NBA now. I’m a really good rebounder and it’s a thing where I take the initiative. I would bring energy from the bank. That’s one thing I know I did when I was in Minnesota. I would make sure I always stay fit and ready while being the best teammate I can be, including for the youngsters.

“I would let them know that they cannot take the league for granted. I would make sure to get extra shots and do all the little things. You can get frustrated when you’re not playing and all of a sudden you walk into a game at the 45th game of the season and they throw you in the game.”

Lamb is also a former lottery player, playing 56 games for the Pacers and Kings last season. Lamb was selected No. 12 in the 2012 NBA draft after a distinguished collegiate career at the University of Connecticut. The veteran wing averaged 7.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 2021-22 while shooting 42.4% from long range. Lamb’s best season came in 2018-19, when the wing averaged 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 steals while shooting 34.8% from behind the three-point line.

Bacon is another intriguing player the Lakers hosted as part of practice. Last season, Bacon averaged 10.9 points per game, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists in his 72 appearances for the Magic, including 50 starts.

The Lakers have also hosted former All-Star Isaiah Thomas and point guard Sharife Cooper, who was once a five-star prospect. Thomas had a brief stint with the Lakers after signing a 10-day contract in December, but Los Angeles chose not to put the guard on another deal.

“Sources: Two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas has been training for the Los Angeles Lakers along with several players including Armoni Brooks, Sharife Cooper, Mychal Mulder and others, @hoopshype has learned.” Scotto detailed on Twitter on 09/17

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