The Los Angeles Lakers just got a major blow. Rajon Rondo suffered a fractured thumb and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, while the Orlando bubble is bout to start in little less than three weeks.
While there’s still a chance that Rondo might play at some point in the playoffs, the Lakers are already without Avery Bradley as well, so they’re going to need a lot of minutes from Alex Caruso, as well as consistent play from both Dion Waiters and JR Smith.
Even if they live up to expectations, it’s clear that the Lakers still need another ball-handler to take some pressure off of LeBron James. There aren’t many options in the free-agent market right now, so let’s take a look at the 5 guys the Lakers should at least consider at this moment:
5. Jerryd Bayless
Jerryd Bayless has been around the league long enough to at least deliver 10 minutes per game as the Lakers’ backup. His final stint in the NBA was horrid on both ends of the floor and he had to take his talents to China but he’d definitely come back to the U.S if the Lakers call.
When given enough chance, Bayless is more than capable of running the offense and even scoring from all three levels but consistency and defense will always be an issue with him. The Lakers have the right personnel to complement him, though.
4. Raymond Felton
Raymond Felton has always struggled to stay in shape but if he’s been hitting the gym lately, then the Lakers should definitely pick up the phone. He’s one of the most experienced players on this list and one of the few that was a starter for most of his career.
Felton hasn’t played professional basketball since 2019 but he can still give this team a much-needed boost in terms of three-point shooting. He’s strong, loves to take charges, and his veteran experience could be useful in the postseason.
3. Tim Frazier
Tim Frazier has never been much of a difference-maker but he’s one of the best playmakers available in the market right now. Also, put in the right position and environment, he could end up being an unexpected x-factor for the Lakers.
Frazier isn’t a versatile scorer or a great defender but he’s got great ball-handling and playmaking skills. Also, he played 27 games this season and was waived in February, so he’d most likely be ready to suit up and get back into game shape right now.
2. Mario Chalmers
Mario Chalmers already knows what it’s like to play – and win Championships – with LeBron James. The rumor is the Kings isn’t exactly fond of his game but considering the options the Lakers have right now, I know he’d be thrilled to have Chalmers back.
Chalmers struggled to get back to his best after leaving the Miami Heat but has been an outstanding player for AEK Athens in Greece. He’s also expressed his desire to join the Lakers amid Rondo’s injury and he’s reportedly in the best shape of his career.
1. Isaiah Thomas
And last, but not least, we find Isaiah Thomas. Thomas already thrived with the Lakers after his infamous stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers and he’s by far the best scorer, playmaker, and player of this list; even if his defense is flat-out terrible.
Thomas reportedly didn’t get along with LeBron and there was some bad blood between him and his Cavaliers’ teammates so that may not go on his favor this time. However, he’s expressed his desire to hoop again and deserves another chance to prove his worth.