The Los Angeles Lakers have put themselves in a great position to become back-to-back NBA champions after signing Andre Drummond in the NBA buyout market. But they shouldn’t stop making moves now.
Lakers have one more roster spot and they should make sure they use it on someone who is going to improve their team and give back on the court. Whilst it remains to be seen who will enter the NBA buyout market, there is some suspicion on the players who will.
Here are some players who could potentially enter the NBA buyout and who could be a great addition to the Lakers.
1. The Potential Steal of the NBA Buyout Market: Otto Porter Jr.
It is very possible that Otto Porter Jr. is the Lakers’ number one option if he was to get bought out by the Orlando Magic.
According to Jovan Buha and Jared Weiss of The Athletic, “the Lakers are expected to pursue a 3 and D wing with their final roster spot.” Porter fits this description perfectly.
He is averaging 9.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. He was traded to the Orlando Magic in a deal that saw Nikola Vucevic join the Chicago Bulls.
Porter is in the final year of his contract making a little over $28.4 million. It is unlikely he will stay at the Magic in the long term as they look to be rebuilding after trading away Vucevic and Evan Fournier.
He is on a big contract and likely won’t be part of their future plans, therefore there is a good chance he will enter the NBA buyout market and would fit in great with the Lakers.
The Lakers are a strong defensive team and adding another very capable defender would only improve them. He is also shooting 39% from three.
2. Wayne Ellington
Wayne Ellington is an elite 3-point shooter, exactly what the Lakers lack. Just like said above, the Lakers’ shooters aren’t consistent enough.
Ellington was rumored to be up for a trade before the deadline but no deal materialized. He is on the last year of his contract and only earning a little over $2.5 million.
They currently rank 24th in the league on three-point shooting percentage, only shooting 34.8%. The list is led by their rivals the Los Angeles Clippers who are shooting 41.7%.
Ellington is shooting 42.6% from three this season whilst attempting 6.4 a game for the Detroit Pistons. Picking up an elite shooter from the NBA buyout market would be a great move from the Lakers and could be big for their playoff aspirations.
He is averaging 10.6 points a game and could be a crucial part in winning playoff games as he has the ability to go off from three. He isn’t as good a defender as Porter but he is capable of playing defense.
Porter may be the preferred target, but Ellington would still be a great addition to the team.
The NBA buyout market was always where the Lakers would get their business done rather than trades. They addressed a major problem at the center position bringing in Andre Drummond.
Last year the Lakers acquired Markieff Morris in the NBA buyout market and he was a great addition to the squad. Morris played great in the playoffs and undoubtedly improved the team.
This year the Lakers may be given the chance to make even greater improvements and they have already started with Drummond.
Getting another scoring option in this team would make them an even scarier side to run into the playoffs. The Lakers also need to improve their 3-point shooting and either option will help achieve this.
Although, we have to wait and see if either of these players will enter the NBA buyout market.
The deadline for players to join the Lakers and be eligible for playoffs is April 9.
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