The Los Angeles Lakers have little margin for error when the 2022 NBA free agency period begins.

Not only do they want to turn a flawed, 33-win team back into a playoff-caliber group, but they have to do so with extremely limited resources.

On the eve of free agency, the Lakers have nine players under contract for 2022-23, including recent second-round draft pick Max Christie. The salaries of those players — Russell Westbrook, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, Stanley Johnson, Wenyen Gabriel, Austin Reaves, Christie — add up to roughly $150 million. That puts the Lakers about $30 million over the projected salary cap and $1 million or so above the luxury tax threshold.

Outside of trades, the Lakers will have their taxpayer midlevel exception (~$6.4 million) and veteran minimum exceptions to fill out the 15-man roster.

The point being: Rob Pelinka and the Los Angeles front office can't afford to make the same mistakes as last summer, when nearly every offseason acquisition — Westbrook and a slew of veteran minimums — went bust.

On Tuesday, I threw out a few names for the Lakers to consider. On the flip side, here are a few impending free agents from whom the Lakers would be wise to stay away.

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3 Players Lakers Must Avoid In 2022 NBA Free Agency

3) Blake Griffin

Sean Deveney of reported that the Lakers are among the teams in the mix for Griffin. This would be a mistake for Los Angeles.

Griffin has redeeming qualities. He's a respected vet with playoff experience, a high basketball IQ, and familiarity with Los Angeles. He consistently gave the Brooklyn Nets energy and effort when given the opportunity. At this stage of his career, the former All-Star has fully accepted his diminished productivity and seems like a collaborative teammate.

But adding Griffin (on a minimum contract) would represent precisely the type of signing the Lakers relied too much upon in 2021. Los Angeles needs to get younger, longer, more athletic, and versatile. Any big they add needs to be able to lighten AD's load (in other words: handle consistent minutes), as well as rim-protect, rebound, and, ideally, stretch the floor. Griffin, 33, can still grab some boards and kinda shoot, but he doesn't check any other boxes.

2) Dennis Schröder

Remarkably, Schröder may be available for the minimum 16 months after turning down an $84 million extension from the Lakers.

The Lakers — who reportedly eyed Schröder before the deadline last season — could conceivably talk themselves into the talent, quickness, on-ball tenacity, and relative youth (28) of the man LeBron used to lovingly herald as “Dennis the Menace” at that price. The Lakers could certainly use another ball-handler/play-maker at the point guard position who can also defend.

Schröder, however, is not the answer. His last few months with the Lakers in 2020-21 were tense and unpleasant, and his no-show vs. the Phoenix Suns in the playoffs left a sour taste. He's never been the easiest teammate to jell with, he developed zero pick-and-roll chemistry with AD, and his three-point shooting is essentially a non-factor.

Undrafted free agent Scotty Pippen Jr. — and ultra-competitive, tenacious and confident guard with three-point shooting range — could be a more inspired option.

1) Andre Drummond

As long as we're bringing up Schröder, it's only fair to mention the Big Penguin, too.

Nothing personal, but Drummond's buyout signing in March of 2021 — and the organization's decision to guarantee him Marc Gasol's starting spot — derailed the vibes of that season as much as any injury or COVID-19 stance. Drummond proved to be a clunky, clogging fit alongside LeBron and Davis. His limitations rendered him unplayable in the postseason, and he was a DNP in Game 6 vs. Phoenix.

In the 2021-22 regular season, Drummond — perhaps humbled by a minimum contract (and his NFT debacle) — played serviceably as a backup 5 with the Philadelphia 76ers and Nets. Once again, though, he was a near-DNP in the playoffs.

As with Dennis and Blake, the Lakers could be swayed by Drummond's experience, rebounding, and energy at a minimal cost. But they need more bounciness, ranginess, and more effective rim-runners and protectors.

The moral of the story: The Lakers need fresh faces in the room. Turn the page.