The Lakers completely reworked their roster at the trade deadline, bringing in five new faces in the 24 hours before the deadline and six if you include Rui Hachimura, who was acquired in the weeks beforehand. Impressively, through all that dealing, the Lakers maintained an open roster spot to use in the buyout market.
It figures to be a busy buyout market, one with a number of players available that are not far removed from being rotation players on high-level teams. The Lakers have less obvious needs now post-deadline but can still have some weaknesses addressed with the right signings.
Let’s take a look at five potential buyout candidates.
Consider this one a little bit of speculation and based on nothing reported. But Kevin Love is out of the Cavs rotation and hasn't played in eight games. It seemed as though he might be a trade candidate but with his enormous contract, that wasn’t likely.
He’s in the final months of his deal, is a close friend of LeBron James and Los Angeles is way more fun to live in than Cleveland. Does he fit a need? No. But would you be surprised if the Lakers signed him?
While Wall was traded to Houston, he will almost certainly not be playing for the Rockets this year. The Lakers went from too many point guards to maybe one too few after sending out Patrick Beverley, Russell Westbrook and Kendrick Nunn. Wall is an awkward fit but showed he has something left in the tank, even if it’s just vapors.
To consider Ross a buyout candidate, you must first make a huge assumption that he would ever actually leave the Magic franchise. If you can make that leap, then he’s a theoretical 3-and-D wing and you can’t have too many of those.
He’s excelled at shooting the ball from three this year as he’s connected on 38.1% from range. If nothing else, he’s a wing at 6’6” and the Lakers can still use those, as can anyone.
The Lakers love nothing more than acquiring former Wizards and Barton would be a good one to get. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, he is working on a buyout and will enter the market.
He’s not been in the rotation consistently this year for the Wizards. However, last year with the Nuggets, Barton averaged 14.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and shot 36.5% from the 3-point line. Again, you can’t have too many rangy wings and Barton is going to be at the top of lots of team’s wish lists.
I mean, the Lakers love bringing back former players and they haven’t really replaced Green since he left. He’s still recovering from a torn ACL and has only played three games so far which probably led to the Grizzlies trading him. It’s not certain yet that he’ll be bought out by Houston, but it’s hard to imagine him sticking around.
If he’s bought out, he’d make a ton of sense for the Lakers, which would explain why the team reportedly has interest in him in that scenario. Fans are familiar with his game and his credentials and while there’s rust to shake off, he’s a valuable piece if he can get right.
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