The Los Angeles Lakers were reportedly interested in signing a controversial $59 million seven-footer.
Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported on March 22 that the Lakers “had an interest in signing Meyers Leonard.” The Illinois product worked out for Los Angeles, but he wound up signing with the Milwaukee Bucks.
“The Lakers had an interest in signing Meyers Leonard, whom they worked out on Jan 13., before he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for the rest of the season, according to league sources who were not authorized to speak on potential signings,” Buha wrote.
Leonard used an antisemitic slur while playing a video game on a live stream in March 2021 when he was on the Miami Heat. The NBA suspended the center for a week and fined him $50,000. A few weeks later, the Heat traded Leonard to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who waived the Illinois native.
Leonard didn’t play at all last season. He signed two 10-day contracts with the Bucks in February and March before getting a rest-of-the-season deal on March 14. Leonard entered this season with over $59 million in career earnings.
The Lakers Worked Out Tristan Thompson & Tony Bradley
The Lakers need a big man since Mo Bamba is expected to miss the rest of the regular season with a sprained left ankle, which is why the team worked out Tristan Thompson and Tony Bradley. Los Angeles head coach Darvin Ham told reporters that he and his staff were “doing our due diligence.”
“Just kicking the tires to see, making sure we get people in front of us if whatever circumstance changes or whatever,” Ham said. “We’ll know they’ve been in front of us and we’ve gotten to see them first hand. Just doing our due diligence.”
Thompson has a strong connection with Lakers superstar LeBron James. The two played for the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2014-15 to 2017-18. The Cavaliers won the 2016 championship over the Golden State Warriors in seven thrilling games. Thompson has career averages of 9.0 points and 8.4 rebounds with the Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls.
Bradley, meanwhile, was waived by the Bulls in February. He has career averages of 4.4 points and 4.1 rebounds with the Utah Jazz and Bulls.
The Lakers Won’t Bring DeMarcus Cousins Back
Zach Stevens of Lakers Daily reported on March 20 that the Lakers aren’t interested in bringing DeMarcus Cousins back. Cousins signed with the Lakers during the summer of 2019 as an unrestricted free agent. However, he never played in a single game due to a torn left ACL.
“Sources tell Lakers Daily that general manager Rob Pelinka is not a fan of Cousins,” Stevens wrote. “Apparently, he ‘left a bad taste in Pelinka’s mouth,’ and the team is ‘adamant’ about not signing him.”
Cousins was waived by the Lakers in February 2020. The LakeShow wound up winning the 2020 championship over the Heat at the Walt Disney World bubble in six games behind James and Anthony Davis.
Cousins played for the Bucks and Denver Nuggets last season, averaging 9.0 points and 5.6 rebounds in 48 games. The former All-Star has career averages of 19.6 points and 10.2 rebounds with the Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Bucks and Nuggets.