The Los Angeles Lakers could prove to be one of the main teams to watch when the NBA buyout market begins to pick up steam. It’s not all that surprising after the team was unable to strike a blockbuster deal for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis. Fortunately for the Lakers, there are some intriguing names already on the market and a few others potentially heading that way.
Although Magic Johnson and company did make a few deals on the side after things with Davis turned sour, they could still look to address one or two areas. Specifically, one name who’ll likely remain linked to the Lakers will be Carmelo Anthony, who was bought out by the Chicago Bulls after being acquired from the Houston Rockets.
That’s where we’ll begin, so let’s take a look at a few players who make sense as buyout targets to add to the current Lakers roster.
You likely don’t need to hear more than the fact that Anthony is a close friend of LeBron James to understand this. The Lakers opted to trade Ivica Zubac and Michael Beasley to the Los Angeles Clippers in a deal for Mike Muscala, which opened up a potential roster spot. If the team views Anthony as someone who can provide any amount of scoring beyond what they currently have on the bench, then this move could happen.
There are options better than Anthony on the market, but if James believes his friend will come in and help in a possible playoff push this season, the front office would likely hop on board. For what it’s worth, the team could have some competition for the veteran forward, especially if the Philadelphia 76ers opt to jump in the mix, as they’d surely be appealing.
The Washington Wizards opted to move Markieff Morris to the Pelicans, who proceeded to release him shortly after. This stemmed from a neck injury which has kept him out of action as of late, and in turn, sent him into the pool of names seeking a new home.
While the Lakers added Muscala as a stretch-four who fits what the team does fairly well, I’m interested in the idea of adding Morris to the mix. He’d provide a better rebounding presence than Muscala and bring an option inside to work alongside JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler. It also provides a solid fit for semi-small ball lineups as he’s capable of knocking down outside shots, shooting 36.7 and 33.3 percent from deep in the past two seasons.
Morris could provide scoring, better rebounding than the current situation and the potential to offer a spark off the bench as well. His timeline for return from injury is unknown, but he’ll remain a name to monitor on the buyout market.
Other possible fits for Lakers: Frank Kaminsky (if bought out)