Lakers Buyout Market Watchlist
The Lakers did not make a move at the trade deadline, opting to save their assets for the offseason and focus on attacking the buyout market.
LA has an open roster spot and will be one of the more enticing landing spots for free agents on the buyout market.
At 27-26, the Lakers are a talented group that has been inconsistent and banged up with injuries. They have the core in place from the team that made it to the Western Conference Finals last season but could use some depth off the bench.
The Purple and Gold is missing Jarred Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent, and Cam Reddish, with injuries for multiple weeks. They also have D’Angelo Russell and Max Christie, who are dealing with day-to-day injuries.
The Lakers should target a backup ball-handler and a two-way forward on the buyout market to bolster their roster.
With the buyout market here, let’s break down the Lakers' options.
Spencer Dinwiddie is by far the best player on the buyout market. The Toronto Raptors waived Dinwiddie after being traded there at the deadline.
The 30-year-old guard is averaging 13/3/6 on 39/32/78 shooting splits. While Dinwiddie hasn’t been efficient this season, he would be a very impactful role player for the LakeShow.
Due to Vincent's injury, the Lakers have operated without a backup point guard for most of the season. This has put more of the ball-handling responsibilities on D’Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves, and LeBron James. Having another ball-handler coming off the bench like Dinwiddie would give the roster more depth and help them make a push up the standings.
The six-foot-five point guard has received interest from the Lakers and Dallas Mavericks already. Dinwiddie met with Dallas on Thursday and will meet with LA this weekend to make his decision. Rob Pelinka stated they are looking for a “ballhandling guard,” and Dinwiddie is the best candidate available.
Marcus Morris is another intriguing candidate as the San Antonio Spurs will likely buy him out. Morris could give the Lakers another forward with two-way ability while Vanderbilt is out with his injury.
The 34-year-old forward is averaging 7/3/1 on 44/40/86 shooting splits. While Morris isn’t the player he was in his prime, he is shooting very efficiently and still playing solid on the defensive end of the floor.
Notably, the Purple and Gold signed Morris’ twin brother Markieff on the buyout market back in the 2019-20 season, where they went on to win the title.
The six-eight-forward could have the Lakers' much-needed size, shooting, and defense to help them make a run to end the season.
Spurs are likely to buyout Marcus Morris, sources said. https://t.co/2Qelqpu6mB— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 8, 2024
If the Lakers don’t land Dinwiddie, Kyle Lowry is an option as a backup ball-handler. The veteran point guard was traded to the Charlotte Hornets in January but has not been with the team. A buyout could be reached, making the former All-Star guard available.
In 37 games this season, Lowry is averaging 8/4/4 with 1.1 steals on 43/39/83 shooting splits. The 37-year-old isn’t the star player he once was, but he showed he can be impactful when it matters with big shots and defensive plays in the playoffs for the Miami Heat last season on their run to the NBA Finals.
LA has shown interest in Lowry in the past but never landed him.
Lowry could be the second-best point guard on the buyout market, and his championship experience could help the Lakers bench unit.
The former Laker Stanley Johnson is a free agent and hasn’t played this season. However, Johnson could be an option for the LakeShow as he was a solid role player for them back in the 2021-22 season.
The 27-year-old forward is a great defensive player and could take over the Vanderbilt role during his absence.
Johnson appeared in 30 games for the Spurs last season, averaging 6/3/2 on 53/45/67 shooting splits. While LA shouldn’t expect Johnson to shoot at 45% from three, he could be an elite point-of-attack defender for them off the bench.
Shams Charania reported that Danuel House will be one of the most sought-after players on the buyout market. House is a quality 3&D wing who could fit well in a bench role.
In 34 games with the 76ers this season, House is averaging 4/2/1 on 45/30/76 shooting splits. The 30-year-old forward is struggling from three this season but is a career 36% three-point shooter. House’s true impact is on the defensive end as a wing defender.
At six feet six, House is more of a wing than a power forward like Vanderbilt but could still help out the Lakers' defense.
Joe Harris was once one of the best three-point shooters in basketball but has struggled this season.
The 32-year-old was waived by the Detroit Pistons after playing 16 games for them, averaging 2/1/1 on 36/33/50 shooting splits. Although he has struggled, part of that can be due to his inconsistent minutes with Detroit. Harris is a career 43.6% three-point shooter.
Harris would provide shooting alongside James and Anthony Davis but is not good on the defensive end of the floor.
While he could help LA improve their three-point shooting, there are more pressing needs and better players available.
Seth Curry’s situation is similar to Harris's. The 33-year-old guard is averaging 4/2/1 on 37/36/90 shooting splits. The Charlotte Hornets could waive Curry after being traded at the deadline.
Curry is a career 43.2% three-point shooter and could be an impactful shooter off the bench. Like Harris, his shooting could be valuable, but he is not a good defender, and better fits are available on the buyout market.
JUST IN: The Lakers are among the front runners to sign Spencer Dinwiddie when he clears waivers, via ESPN. pic.twitter.com/qHgMWcIevI— Lakers All Day Everyday (@LADEig) February 8, 2024
The Lakers have plenty of options to pursue and upgrade their roster on the buyout market. Pelinka should focus on landing Dinwiddie with their open roster spot to add another quality ball-handler to their rotation.