Los Angeles Lakers v Charlotte Hornets / David Jensen/GettyImages
In a predictable fashion, the NBA transaction log has really started to heat up on the day of the trade deadline. There were weeks of stagnation that proved to be the calm before the storm on Thursday. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles Lakers have not been a big part of that storm thus far.
At the time of writing this, the Lakers have not made a move at the deadline and it is growing increasingly unlikely that the team does anything substantial. Los Angeles has already missed out on great potential trade targets, which has made the inactivity look even worse by comparison.
Thankfully, making trades at the deadline is not the only way to obtain external help. The trade deadline also spruces up the buyout market and with the Lakers under the first tax apron, there are no restrictions on who the team can sign.
There will certainly be a list of potential buyout candidates once the dust settles after the deadline. But some teams are not even waiting for the dust to settle, as the Detroit Pistons have already waived what would be a slam-dunk buyout signing for the purple and gold.
Joe Harris is a perfect buyout target for the Los Angeles Lakers
Harris has to clear waivers first in order for the Lakers to sign him as a buyout target but it is highly unlikely that any team claims him at his current salary. Harris was making just under $20 million and while he would be a great buyout signing, no team is paying that price for him.
The sharpshooting wing has had a down year with the Detroit Pistons but everyone on that roster has had a down year. While it will keep Harris from coming in and getting a heaping of minutes, the Lakers should not be overly concerned about his play in Detroit considering the circumstances there.
Instead, the Lakers should look at Harris’ numbers from the previous seasons. Harris is a lifetime 43.6% three-point shooter who led the league in three-point percentage in two different seasons. This is a guy who has shot over 47% from beyond the arc over an entire season.
With Jarred Vanderbilt out for several weeks and the Lakers not having great shooting across the board, adding a sharpshooting wing to bring off the bench would be a great idea. Harris would benefit immensely from the floor spacing created by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and could absolutely climb back to being a 40% three-point shooter.
Harris is a below-average defender, so the Lakers would have to be careful on how they use him. Putting him on the court with D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves would probably create too many holes. But in a defensive lineup that includes the likes of Davis and Vanderbilt, Harris could be a great forward to stretch the floor.