The Wizards’ offseason strategy of collecting former Lakers is a bold one with Joel Ayayi the latest addition.
Ayayi had a rather underwhelming tenure in purple and gold through both the Summer League and preseason despite many considering him to be one of the top undrafted free agents when he signed his two-way deal.
After being waived on Saturday, the Lakers had remained hopeful that Ayayi would join the South Bay Lakers in the G League this season should he clear waivers. Having an open two-way roster slot, the Wizards claimed Ayayi and slid him into that open spot.
For the Lakers, that means Ayayi will not remain with the team and opens up both more playing time and another roster spot in the G League this season. With guards in Frank Mason III and Mac McClung and potential wings in Trevelin Queen and Chaundee Brown, it will be interesting to see how the team fills out the remainder of it’s roster.
Ayayi is the latest Lakers to make his way to Washington this offseason. The trade that brought Russell Westbrook to the Lakers sent a host of players to Washington in Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell.
Former Laker draft pick Thomas Bryant also remains on the Wizards and the team only recently parted with former Lakers Moritz Wagner and Isaac Bonga. Two seasons ago in 2019-20, the Wizards rostered another trio of former Lakers as well in Isaiah Thomas and former two-way signings Gary Payton II and Johnathan Williams. In fact, in every season since 2017-18, the Wizards had at least three players on their roster that had played or would play with the Lakers during their career.
Considering that the Memphis Grizzlies have become the Lakers’ feeder team and the Wizards have become their East Coast affiliate, it’s time to start to wonder if the Lakers are running a ponzi scheme.