With the Los Angeles Lakers not making any moves before the trade deadline wrapped up, all eyes are now on the buyout market to see if they can add potential veterans to improve their chances of defending the title.
The Lakers currently have two open roster spots, with the second one becoming available after L.A. opted not to re-sign Damian Jones to a contract for the remainder of the season after two 10-day contracts.
Center Andre Drummond, who is working on a contract buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers, is another possible player who makes his way to Los Angeles.
But a player who was traded today by the Miami Heat and has familiarity with the Lakers that could be available is Avery Bradley, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
A name to monitor as the Lakers look to fill their final roster spots: Avery Bradley. He was traded to HOU from MIA today. Rockets already have logjam of guards to back up John Wall. Bradley, a former Pelinka client, made strong impression on LAL before opting out of the bubble
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) March 25, 2021
Houston currently has John Wall, Eric Gordon, D.J. Augustin, Sterling Brown, Dante Exum, David Nwaba and Ben McLemore in their guard depth chart. Adding Bradley to the mix after acquiring him in the Victor Oladipo trade further complicates minutes and rotations, so a potential buyout for Bradley could be an option to alleviate that issue.
Bradley signed a one-year deal worth around $5.6 million with the Heat this offseason, a season removed from playing with the Lakers before opting not to return.
Bradley signed with the Lakers on a two-year contract in the 2019-20 season and averaged 8.6 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists on 44% field goal shooting and 36.4% 3-point shooting. The 6’3″ guard opted out of the Orlando bubble for health reasons, but his impact with the team was already clear.
If Bradley is available and joins the Lakers, L.A. could use additional ball-handling and off-ball shooting. The unit’s 3-point shooting has largely been inconsistent this year, so attaching a player who has shot 36.5% from deep in his career would be palatable. Not to forget, he has familiarity with the system and with the majority of the players, so the fit would be seamless.
James expected to miss 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain
The Lakers have been dealt constant punches in terms of maintaining a healthy roster, and star LeBron James became the latest victim to the injury report after injuring his ankle against the Atlanta Hawks.
James reportedly has a four-to-six week recovery period before he can return to action, so the Lakers will need all the help they can get to help replace his production.
If Bradley reunites with the Lakers, he may be counted on to score points and aid the defense further.
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