With the signing of Andre Drummond, the Los Angeles Lakers got their big prize on the free-agent market. He’s the best player who will land on the buyout market this year. However, that doesn’t mean the team is done making moves.
Drummond solves the Lakers’ need for an athletic center, but he doesn’t solve the need for a 3-point shooter. The team knows this and will continue to look at the buyout market. According to The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Jared Weiss, Los Angeles is looking to address a specific need.
“The Lakers are currently at $137.53 million in total salary with about $1.39 million to spare under the hard cap,” Buha and Weiss wrote. “With the Lakers roster at 14, it meets the league minimum number of players on board. The Lakers are expected to pursue a 3-and-D wing with their final roster spot, per sources.”
A 3-point shooter should be the top priority, but it’s a plus if they can also play at the wing. At this point in the season, the Lakers probably won’t find a true impact player but they could have some solid options.
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Potential Fits for the Lakers
Unfortunately, the Lakers missed out on George Hill and Trevor Ariza at the trade deadline. Both would’ve been strong fits and the team was linked to them. If the Lakers are lucky, they could still find a great fit. Otto Porter Jr. would be the perfect guy for them to go after. He’s an excellent 3-point shooter and can hold his own on defense. He was recently traded to the Orlando Magic, but that team isn’t going to do much this season. They could buy Porter out and let him finish up the season with a contender.
If he has to stay in Orlando for the season, then the Lakers could bring back Avery Bradley. He was a starter for the team most of last season. He was actually considered an important piece when he decided to opt out of the bubble. The Houston Rockets might be the worst team in the NBA and should let Bradley hit free agency.
Vogel Talks Final Roster Spot
It’s easy to look at the Lakers right now and talk about all the needs they have. That’s just the reality of them not having their two best players. Once LeBron James and Anthony Davis return, Los Angeles’ issue will be a lot less clear. Regardless, the team will continue to be active on the buyout market. Head coach Frank Vogel did admit that the team is keeping an eye on who becomes available.
“I’m not really going to get into specific team needs or positional needs we’re directing that towards, it’s really more about probably what players become available that have the most intrigue and we feel could help us out the most rather than targeting a specific skill set or something like that,” Vogel said Wednesday.
Expect the Lakers to fill that final roster spot at some point.