Some years in the NBA, more player movement happens after the trade deadline. After a relatively calm deadline passed in February, some big names have changed teams through buyout agreements. And some of the league’s best teams have improved themselves for a playoff run.
In the East, the Heat signed Joe Johnson, who was probably the most coveted player under buyout consideration. Johnson has been a consistent scorer for more than a decade and gives Miami a much-needed 3-point shooter. He averaged 11.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists with the Nets before they let him go and has been a valuable part of Miami’s offense in his brief time there. The Hawks added ex-Suns power forward Kris Humphries to fill in for the injured Tiago Splitter. Humphries averaged 6.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 28 games with Washington before being traded to Phoenix. The Pacers are gambling on former Rockets point guard Ty Lawson, who is expected to sign Monday to serve as a backup to George Hill. Lawson washed out in Houston, but he was third in the league in assists last season with 9.6 per game while scoring 15.2 points a night.
Out West, David Lee left the Celtics for the Warriors in the first major move of the buyout season. Lee has fallen out of the rotation the past two seasons with Boston and Golden State, but he was an All-Star with the Warriors as recently as 2012/13. The Spurs bolstered their backcourt with the addition of Andre Miller and the expected signing of Kevin Martin. Both had their playing time reduced in Minnesota, but they have been solid contributors over the years. The Warriors added to their bench with the pickup of Anderson Varejao, a dependable rebounder and defender during his years in Cleveland.
There have also been some smaller moves. The Bucks added Steve Novak, who was knocked out for the season shortly afterward, and the Wizards signed J.J. Hickson. Both were coming off buyouts with the Nuggets. Chase Budinger is expected to join the Suns after a buyout with Indiana. Some players were waived without buyouts, as JaKarr Sampson went from Philadelphia to Denver and John Jenkins moved from Dallas to Phoenix, among other examples.
That brings me to tonight’s topic: Which team has done the most to improve since the trade deadline passed? Does landing Johnson make the Heat a more serious playoff threat? Will Lawson rejuvenate his career with the Pacers? Did the Warriors and Spurs make themselves even more unbeatable with their moves?
Please share your thoughts and opinions on the topic in the comments section. We look forward to hearing what you have to say.