Moves after the deadline could be impactful
Sam Smith of Bulls.com takes a look at the post-trading deadline buyout period in the NBA, when players who have not been in the league this season or those who pursue buyouts by March 1 can sign with a team up until the end of the regular season and then
Now comes another “trading deadline” when the famous names still can change teams. Glen “Big Baby” Davis appears to be the first with reports he’ll sign with the Los Angeles Clippers to join his former coach, Doc Rivers, after negotiating a buyout with the Orlando Magic.
It’s the post-trading deadline buyout period, when players who have not been in the league this season or those who pursue buyouts by March 1 can sign with a team up until the end of the regular season and then be eligible for the playoffs.
It’s the chance to get a tested veteran rather than a D-League 10-day addition and perhaps someone who can impact your team. P.J. Brown was a classic example with big playoff plays in the Celtics 2008 title run after signing the last week of February. The Clippers have talked about a need for more inside punch. They assume when they mean “punch” Davis won’t be punching any more “friends” like he did in 2009 and broke his hand. He’s had issues. Perhaps Davis will help. It’s why you saw top teams, like the Clippers and Miami, trading players seemingly for nothing last week. They were creating roster spots for such additions. The Bulls also have several roster spots open to add a player or two.
The question for this week is who will pursue buyouts.
Detroit’s Charlie Villanueva said he is considering it after playing little in and his final season. Though he hasn’t said anything, former Bull Ben Gordon would seem to be a possibility. The 76ers traded for Earl Clark and cut him. The Knicks seem ready to release Ron Artest and Beno Udrih. Former Bull Ronnie Brewer was released. Former Pacer Danny Granger is speculated to be seeking a buyout with the 76ers from the Evan Turner deal. Antawn Jamison was released after being traded to Atlanta. Perhaps Reggie Evans with the Kings, though it seems Jason Terry traded in the same deal will do rehabilitation as he was thought to be a buyout candidate. There may be others, like the Bucks’ Caron Butler, the Celtics’ Kris Humphries, the Jazz’ Richard Jefferson and virtually everyone on the Lakers.
Plus, there are the players who have been out of the league and likely have fresh legs. Like Richard Hamilton, Kwame Brown, Stephen Jackson, Mickael Pietrus, Drew Gooden, Kurt Thomas, Josh Howard, Marquis Daniels, Marcus Camby, Delonte West and Tyrus Thomas.
But can teams match their needs with availability? The Clippers with another spot can use a wing defender. It’s why they give up so many inside points. Their big guys are underrated defensively because their perimeter players get beaten to easily. Hamilton? OK, joking. Maybe Pietrus if he’s healthy enough.
What will Miami do? They always like shooting and Shane Battier has mostly been missing this season. Granger? Would he do that to the Pacers? Well, they did trade him. Maybe Jamison, a competent three-point threat. Ben Gordon? Nah, he won’t be able to defend enough. It’s also likely why you’d think the Bulls wouldn’t seriously consider him if he became available. You can’t play Gordon with D.J. Augustin. But former Heat player and former Bull Roger Mason Jr. might work as a big guard who can shoot. Hey, what about Keith Bogans?
The Spurs might take a look at Granger, and maybe he would like to get out of the conference. They like veterans who can shoot as they once brought in Glenn Robinson for a title run. Stephen Jackson? Oh, right, tried that. Maybe Villanueva to run a pick and pop with Tony Parker. The rosters don’t have to be set for another six weeks.