With the Los Angeles Lakers deciding to surprisingly stand pat at the NBA trade deadline, the franchise will have to set its sights on the buyout market if it hopes to improve the roster.
The Lakers currently sit in the nine seed in the Western Conference, which would mean they would have to participate in the play-in tournament for the second consecutive year. The team as constructed has several holes on it and is in desperate need of some sort of shot in the arm to right the ship with only 25 games remaining in the 2021-22 season.
While Los Angeles is severely lacking 3-and-D wings to complement its star trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, they may be looking to shore up their backcourt. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Lakers are expected to pursue Goran Dragic in the buyout market:
The San Antonio Spurs and Goran Dragic are expected to negotiate a contract buyout in the coming week, clearing the way for a formidable list of free agent suitors for Dragic that now include the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, sources told ESPN.
The Lakers and Warriors are planning to join several rivals, including the LA Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets, in aggressive pursuit of Dragic, sources said.
As soon as it was announced that Dragic was traded to the Spurs, he became the most popular name to get bought out, and for good reason. Dragic appeared in only five games with the Toronto Raptors before they mutually agreed to find a deal, so the veteran should be fresh and ready to contribute as soon as he picks a new home.
Interestingly, the Lakers are targeting another point guard as they already have a fairly crowded backcourt, but Dragic would provide some much-needed scoring and playmaking from that spot. However, their record and the stiff competition they face for his services make it a long shot he chooses them.
Lakers reportedly interested in bringing back Dennis Schroder
Guard seems to be a point of emphasis for the Lakers because aside from Dragic, there have been reports about a possible reunion with Dennis Schroder. The Boston Celtics dealt Schroder to the Houston Rockets, and although there has been no word of a potential buyout Schroder at least makes sense on paper should become available.