NBA rumors: Potential Lakers buyout target officially hits the market
The Los Angeles Lakers left one open roster spot to utilize in the buyout market. With 14 players on the roster, Los Angeles does not need to waive anyone in order to make room for someone who could make an impact.
Los Angeles missed out on the first wave of buyout targets but there are still talented options that could bolster the roster. One of those potential options just hit the market on Tuesday.
In a move that was long expected to happen, Will Barton and the Washington Wizards finalized a contract buyout. The 32-year-old is now free to sign with any team other than the Denver Nuggets after the Wizards failed to trade his $13 million salary at the deadline.
Will Barton is a solid Lakers buyout target.
At this point in time, the Los Angeles Lakers need to be looking for someone who has playoff experience, is willing to take a leadership role for this young roster and most importantly, can hit three-point shots and provide depth on the wing.
Barton can provide all of those things. While he is not a traditional small forward (which is what the Lakers lack), he can still provide minutes at the wing as he is not another undersized guard. At six-foot-six, he can more than hold his own as the three in a lineup.
The former Portland Trail Blazer and Denver Nugget does not have massive amounts of playoff experience but he has been in big spots. Barton has played in 29 playoff games and as seen in the clip above, has shown that he can hit a big shot in a big moment.
There is nothing wrong with too much shooting and adding Barton would give Los Angeles another shooting presence that teams have to respect. Barton is shooting 38% from three this season on 3.4 attempts per game. He has shot 37.3% in 4.9 attempts per game over the last four seasons.
This season he has thrived despite not really having a true playmaker to capitalize on his abilities as an off-ball shooter. His looks from three are only going to get better if LeBron James is the one finding him, especially with the gravity that LeBron and Anthony Davis have near the rim.
Los Angeles does not need a potential buyout signing to play a big role in the playoffs but Barton is someone who absolutely could. He is someone who can give the team Malik Beasley or Lonnie Walker IV insurance in case they are struggling, which isn’t uncommon for young players.
Barton might not be an absolutely perfect fit but if the Lakers wait around for absolutely perfect then they may not end up with anyone.