LA still has an open roster spot to burn.
Your Los Angeles Lakers just missed out on probably the best buyout market candidate to have emerged thus far this year.
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, ex-Washington Wizards swingman Will Barton is working on a rest-of-season agreement with the Toronto Raptors.
Barton had been yours truly’s preferred buyout signing for Los Angeles this season, as even after LA made all those new rotational additions following the trade deadline, the team still clearly needed a little more defensive help along the wing and even at the point of attack. The versatile 6’6″ shooting guard/small forward is a solid defender, the kind of 3-and-D wing role player who’s usually a little too good to actually make the buyout market.
He must have just really wanted out of D.C. Through his 40 healthy games off the bench for the Wiz, the 32-year-old vet averaged just 7.7 points on .387/.380/.778 shooting splits, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 dimes, all his lowest numbers since being flipped from the Trail Blazers to the Denver Nuggets during the 2014-15 season. The Raptors have historically been a better-run team, though they have been struggling mightily on offense this year. It will be fascinating to see how head coach Nick Nurse uses Barton. He may still be worth a look when he hits free agency this summer.