The Lakers will enter the playoffs with two new backcourt depth options.
Thompson last played in 2021-22 for the Chicago Bulls, averaging 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 23 games. He was a vital cog for the Cavaliers’ four straight trips to the NBA Finals from 2015 to 2018.
The Lakers also signed Shaquille Harrison, a defensive-minded point guard. Harrison played for the South Bay Lakers, their G League affiliate, this season and averaged 13.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 2.1 steals in 32 games. He recently finished a 10-day contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, averaging 8.8 points and 6.0 assists in five games.
“Just to shore up our backcourt and to shore up our frontline,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said before L.A. hosted the Utah Jazz in their regular season finale. “[Harrison] is a guy that can score and defend and playmake and guard multiple positions. To have a guy like that that’s I think just shy of 200 NBA games under his belt, so he’s played real NBA minutes, and we saw an opportunity just if anything should happen health-wise with our guys we’ll have someone that we can throw in the mix, that’s familiar, that’s been in our program, that understands how we want to play and the terminology and whatnot. So, yeah, there’s a bit of corporate knowledge there.”
Harrison will wear No. 0 and Thompson will wear No. 9 for L.A. Neither player was available to play in the 128-117 win over the Jazz on Sunday.