Waivers, China Boost Current Free Agent Market

Trade season is over in the NBA, so free agent signings take on a much more important role as teams look to improve for the stretch run and the playoffs. Not coincidentally, the free agent market is somewhat more ample than it was before the trade deadline. More than a dozen players have hit waivers since deadline day this past Thursday. Four already have new teams, while veterans like J.J. Hickson, Andrea Bargnani and DeJuan Blair are up for grabs.

This is also the time of year when players begin to shake free from China, where several noteworthy names have gone to play in recent years. Michael Beasley, who’s apparently drawing the eye of a handful of NBA clubs, is among the familiar names once more available.

We’ve put together a categorized look at the players who’ve either gone or are going through NBA waivers as well as a sampling of notables from the Chinese Basketball Association. Note that this list doesn’t include players in the D-League or those who’ve recently finished 10-day contracts, since they’ve been readily available to NBA teams all along. It also doesn’t include buyout candidates like Joe Johnson and Kevin Martin, since it remains to be seen whether they’ll be on the market.

Cleared waivers

On waivers (scheduled to clear Wednesday)

Became free agents but already signed

Prominent Chinese league signees whose seasons are over

Still playing in China (team in semifinals)

Note: Andray Blatche‘s Chinese season is over, but his three-year deal is reportedly without any allowance that would let him play in the NBA during the spring. Others who’ve been playing in China may have similar arrangements that haven’t been reported yet.

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