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5 potential buyout candidates for the Lakers to sign

With the trade deadline over and done with, here are the ways the Lakers can improve via the buyout market.

Brooklyn Nets v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With the NBA trade deadline over and done with and the Lakers standing pat, the next way to acquire talent is via the buyout market.

It figures to be a busy buyout market. Many teams are still jockeying for position in the NBA standings and plenty of players could be available who can contribute to winning basketball. Thanks to the Lakers’ shrewd cap management when signing Gabe Vincent to the MLE they have the ability to outspend teams for a buyout player.

The Lakers have kept a roster spot open all season for this exact scenario. They can pick up a player via the buyout market without having to waive anybody.

The Lakers still need a backup center and wing depth is always desired, especially with Jarred Vanderbilt currently injured. Another need the Lakers have is 3-point shooting and while finding it is always a challenge, there are a few players who can improve the team in that aspect.

Let's take a look at five potential buyout candidates. There’s a fair amount of predicting here as, at time of publish, only one of these players has been bought out or released.

Spencer Dinwiddie

The Lakers have shown interest in Dinwiddie prior to the deadline and with Shams Charania reporting the Raptors intending on waiving him, the Lakers will be in prime position to acquire him. He’s averaging 12.6 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists this season and is having the best year statistically compared to the other potential buyout options.

Joe Harris

The Detroit Pistons have already waived Joe Harris, so that part is out of the way. He's had a down year, averaging 2.4 points in the 16 games he's played, but he's just a couple of years removed from being a double-digit scorer and a 40% 3-point shooter. It's not a home run move, but taking a flyer on him makes sense.

Kyle Lowry

Lowry has been long connected with the Lakers. Back in 2021, the Lakers were trying to trade for him and he was a player they were interested in that offseason prior to him signing with the Heat.

Given his likelihood of being available as a buyout option, the Lakers should try to pick him up. He would likely get more run than he had in Miami and could give the Lakers another scoring threat from the guard position.

Mike Muscala

With Andre Drummond reportedly staying in Chicago according to Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, Muscala becomes a good option for a backup center position in Los Angeles. He’s having a modest season, averaging 4.0 points and 2.9 rebounds, but he stretches the floor better than a Jaxson Hayes can.

He’s been an NBA journeyman the past couple of years, but a return to the Lakers—he played for the team back in the 2018-19 season—could be what he needs to improve his form and value in the market for the summer.

Otto Porter Jr.

Not long ago, Otto Porter Jr. was a rotation piece for the Golden State Warriors. He's underperformed in Toronto, but maybe a change in scenery can unlock the best parts of his game. The Lakers need all the wing depth they can get and given the options available, they could do a lot worse than picking him up.

These are not the most exciting upgrades possible, but some marginal improvement could help this team guarantee a play-in spot and perhaps even a top-sixth seed. If the Lakers have their stars healthy and make some improvements, they can still be a dangerous team to play in the postseason.

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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