Corey Brewer is one of the few veterans on the Los Angeles Lakers roster, but that might not be the case for much longer. Marc Stein of the New York Times reported early Tuesday morning that Brewer was in ‘advanced negotiations’ with L.A. on a buyout that would make him a free agent, and Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports later reported that the buyout was done.
Brewer has played 12.9 minutes per game in 54 appearances with the Lakers this season, time in which L.A. was outscored by 5.7 points per 100 possessions, the second-worst mark among players to appear in more than 30 games.
The veteran forward averaged 3.7 points and 1.7 rebounds during his time in Los Angeles this season, and according to Stein, the two sides worked on the buyout because it would leave Brewer eligible to go chase a playoff spot with another NBA team.
A buyout must be completed with the Lakers by Thursday — March 1 — to make Corey Brewer playoff-eligible this season with another team
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 28, 2018
Later, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Oklahoma City Thunder were the most likely option for Brewer to sign with.
After Corey Brewer’s buyout with the Lakers, a reunion with his college coach Billy Donovan in Oklahoma City is a serious possibility, league sources tell ESPN. He will talk to other teams too.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 28, 2018
With his defense and experience, Brewer would likely be a better fit and more able to help a playoff contender like Oklahoma City than he could aid the young Lakers, and such a move would allow L.A. to continue to give more time to their younger wings like Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram without having any awkwardness in the locker room that would come with cutting Brewer out of the rotation entirely.
However, Brewer was far from an agitating presence in the locker room. Earlier this season, he had no issues when his streak of 317 straight games played (the longest active ironman streak in the NBA at the time) came to an end with a DNP-CD from Lakers head coach Luke Walton. Brewer even told Walton not to extend the streak if he didn’t need him to play.
Brewer was also credited multiple times for the positive influence he was on the Lakers’ young players, from helping Lonzo Ball learn to deal with full-court ball pressure in training camp to offering sage veteran wisdom to the young roster.
All of that likely factored in to the Lakers wanting to do him a solid and allow him to chase the postseason elsewhere one more time.