The 2019 NBA trade deadline is behind us, but that doesn’t mean teams are finished making roster moves. With two months left in the 2018/19 regular season, there are still plenty of roster spots to be filled around the NBA, as well as veterans who might not finish the year with their current teams.
For the rest of February, the NBA’s buyout market figures to be active. A veteran in an undesirable situation due to his playing time or his team’s place in the standings (or both) could ask to be released and may even be willing to give back a little money to accommodate the move. Some teams might make that decision unilaterally, opting to release a veteran to open up a roster spot for a younger player.
Over the rest of the month, we’ll use the space below to monitor the buyout market, keeping tabs on which veteran players have been bought out or released, and which have found new teams. We’ll also keep an eye on players who are potential buyout candidates.
A player on an NBA contract must be waived by the end of March 1 in order to retain his playoff eligibility, so that will be a key date to watch. You can find out more about buyouts in our glossary entry on the subject.
Here’s our breakdown of the 2019 NBA buyout market:
Veterans who have been bought out or released and are free agents:
- Alex Abrines, G/F
- Carmelo Anthony, F
- Michael Beasley, F
- Omri Casspi, F *
- Marcin Gortat, C
- Ben McLemore, G
- Greg Monroe, C
- Zach Randolph, C
- Milos Teodosic, G
Note: Players marked with an asterisk were injured at the time of their release.
Veterans who have been bought out or released and joined new teams:
- Wayne Ellington, G: Signed with Pistons.
- Enes Kanter, C: Signed with Trail Blazers.
- Jeremy Lin, G: Signed with Raptors.
- Wesley Matthews, G/F: Signed with Pacers.
- Shelvin Mack, G: Claimed off waivers by Hornets.
- Markieff Morris, F: Agreed to sign with Thunder.
- Nik Stauskas, G: Signed with Cavaliers.
Other candidates to be bought out or released:
- Ryan Anderson, F (Heat)
- Jerryd Bayless, G (Timberwolves)
- Dragan Bender, F/C (Suns)
- Vince Carter, F (Hawks)
- Troy Daniels, G (Suns)
- Dewayne Dedmon, C (Hawks)
- Channing Frye, F/C (Cavaliers)
- Pau Gasol, C (Spurs)
- DeAndre Jordan, C (Knicks)
- Frank Kaminsky, F/C (Hornets)
- Kosta Koufos, C (Kings)
- Robin Lopez, C (Bulls)
- J.R. Smith, G (Cavaliers)
- Jason Smith, F/C (Pelicans)
- Anthony Tolliver, F (Timberwolves)
Not every player on this list will hit free agency before season’s end. In fact, most probably won’t.
The Hawks players, for instance, might intrigue contenders, but aren’t expected to reach the open market — Dedmon has attainable incentives that would be voided if he’s bought out, as ESPN’s Bobby Marks notes. As for Carter, he simply hasn’t displayed much desire to join a contender in recent years, preferring to see minutes and play a mentor role for young teams.
Even if Anderson doesn’t remain in the Heat‘s plans, they’ll probably wait until the offseason to make a move with him, since they’ll have more options at that point. Smith is also unlikely to be waived by the Cavaliers during the season, since the terms of his contract – signed under the old CBA – could make him a trade chip this summer, as we explained in October.
Some other players on this list could become free agents, and a few other unexpected names might join this group within the next couple weeks. However, it seems that most of this year’s top buyout candidates were waived right around the trade deadline, or even earlier.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.