The NBA’s trade deadline has passed, and the Los Angeles Lakers came out of it with a few consolation prizes, but no Anthony Davis. But even with the Lakers failing to land the New Orleans Pelicans superstar as many had hoped, the team might have some options in the buyout market, including Turkish center Enes Kanter, who, together with shooting guard Wesley Matthews, was waived by the New York Knicks on Thursday.
In a report that looked at some of the players whom the Lakers could chase after in the buyout market, ClutchPoints mentioned Kanter as one of the possibilities, given how the team’s center rotation now has JaVale McGee backed up by seldom-used rookie Moritz Wagner and 36-year-old veteran Tyson Chandler. Prior to the trade deadline, Ivica Zubac was gaining traction as the Lakers’ top reserve big man, but he ended up getting sent to the crosstown Clippers with Michael Beasley, with the Lakers getting Mike Muscala in return.
As opined by ClutchPoints, Enes Kanter could be a “guaranteed double-double” for the Los Angeles Lakers due to his scoring and rebounding ability. The publication predicted that Kanter could replace McGee as the team’s starting center, while likely playing a key role for the Lakers if they make it to the playoffs. According to Basketball-Reference, Kanter averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds for the Knicks before he was waived, despite seeing action in only 25.6 minutes per game.
While ClutchPoints also brought up Kanter’s fellow ex-Knick Wesley Matthews as a potential addition via the buyout market, it was noted that the 32-year-old wingman has mostly been linked to the Indiana Pacers. Former Clippers point guard Milos Teodosic was mentioned as someone who could add depth, albeit as a mere third-string point guard behind Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo. That left shooting guard Wayne Ellington as another player who could be a good fit for the Lakers while also seeing quality playing time for the team.
The Knicks announced that they have released Enes Kanter. pic.twitter.com/6YcCoqlBxO— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 7, 2019
Ellington, who was recently traded to the Phoenix Suns after averaging 8.4 points for the Miami Heat, was described as someone who could “play an important role” in the postseason thanks to his strengths as a catch-and-shoot three-point shooter who could also pass the ball and play some defense.
Although the four aforementioned players were merely recommended as potential Los Angeles Lakers signings via the buyout market, there have been a few others who have actually been linked to the team since the trade deadline expired. Aside from 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony, who has long been rumored as a potential Lakers target, former Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris has also piqued the team’s interest in recent days, as reported by the Los Angeles Times’ Broderick Turner.