The 2024 trade deadline came and went, and the Los Angeles Lakers opted to stay put in hopes of a summer shake-up. The day did not come without effort, though, as they found that any potential trade either came with a steep price or didn’t move the needle.
Lakers were shopping Gabe Vincent and second round picks, but teams weren’t interested in taking Gabe and his contract.
Lakers attempted to trade Gabe and second round picks for Royce O’Neale but the Nets were not interested.
— The Laker Files (@LakerFiles) February 8, 2024
The Lakers were active in seeking deals in the days leading up to the deadline and determined any feasible trade would be a marginal upgrade, at too steep a cost.
Now: Be aggressive in buyout market with more money to offer than others from saved portion of MLE.
Next: Hope… https://t.co/RIS9iWD8NN
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 8, 2024
Now, LA must shift their attention to the buyout market, which, judging by some of Thursday’s moves, may be a little more exciting.
NBA Rumors: Three Buyout Candidates the Lakers Could Pursue
Spencer Dinwiddie is arguably the top (and most unexpected) name on the buyout market. He was previously a trade target for Los Angeles, and is now on their radar once again. The 6-foot-5 guard averaged 12.6 points and six assists per game on 39% shooting from the field, 32% from three and 78% from the free-throw line. This season has been a down year for Dinwiddie, who just last year averaged 17.3 PPG (.438/.369/.812 splits) in 79 games between the Mavericks and Nets.
With Gabe Vincent potentially returning in March, the point guard slot will be a point of emphasis for the Lakers going forward. Dinwiddie would be an ideal fit as a pass-first guard who can score at all levels, and would also reunite with former Nets teammate D’Angelo Russell. The fact that he’s an LA native could also add to his case for the Lakers to bring him home.
The Los Angeles Lakers are among the front runners to sign guard Spencer Dinwiddie when he clears waivers, sources tell ESPN. The 30-year-old L.A. native averaged 12.6 points and 6.0 assists for BKN this season.
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 8, 2024
Sharpshooters were the name of the game for the Lakers heading into the trade deadline. Now, they could have a chance to pursue a veteran guard/wing who excels at scoring from the perimeter. Outside of a rough season with the Pistons, Joe Harris has proven his worth as a three-point marksman throughout his ten years of service. He boasts a career three-point percentage of 43%, and is only three years removed from his best season from beyond the arc (47.5% from deep with 3.1 makes per game).
Harris was previously brought up in trade talks between the Lakers and the Nets, but LA wasn’t interested. At that point, he was recovering from season-ending ankle surgery and had two years and $38 million left on his contract. Now, as a free agent, the team may be more inclined to consider Harris for a roster spot, assuming he could return to form in a better situation. Perimeter shooting has been a rough storyline for the Lakers this year. Signing someone like Joe Harris—another one of Russell’s former teammates—would be a key step towards ending their slump.
Marcus Morris Sr.
The Lakers are all too familiar with the Morris twins. Markieff Morris was signed by LA back in 2020, while Marcus Morris Sr. previously played for the Lakers’ biggest rivals—the Celtics and Clippers. Now—assuming he completes a buyout with the Spurs—the purple and gold could add Marcus to shore up their forward depth. A 13-year veteran, Morris Sr. averaged 6.7 points while shooting 40% from three for the Sixers. He’s been a solid scorer throughout his career, averaging 12.1 points per game on .435/.377/.775 splits.
Fans may be quick to point out his history on the Clippers. He served as their third option at times and provided a spark for them as both a starter and a bench player. Morris can help the Lakers just the same, being an efficient 3-and-D option in the second unit and filling roles usually occupied by Jarred Vanderbilt and Cam Reddish. As one of the better forward options on the market, the Lakers would be remiss to not consider him at this point.
The Last Word on the Lakers’ Buyout Market
With several notable names headlining the 2024 buyout market, these three may be some of the Lakers’ best options. The front office will be looking at multiple areas of improvement. Finding success here is just what they need to ensure they’re ready for the road ahead.