Community Shootaround: Best Second-Half FA Signing

Players available on the buyout market typically don’t become difference-makers for their new teams. Occasionally, productive players will join a playoff team late in the season and help buoy that club heading into the postseason, like Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli did for the Sixers in 2018 or Enes Kanter did for the Trail Blazers in 2019.

More often than not though, buyout-market additions don’t significantly move the needle. A year ago, the late-season signees who saw the most playing time down the stretch were Wayne Ellington (Pistons) and Wesley Matthews (Pacers), whose teams didn’t make it out of the first round of the playoffs. The eventual-champion Raptors signed a player off the buyout market, but that player – Jeremy Lin – barely saw any action during the team’s title run.

With that in mind, we don’t want to overstate the impact that this year’s post-trade-deadline acquisitions will have the rest of the way. Still, it’s possible one of those players could be this year’s Ilyasova, Belinelli, or Kanter, playing an important role for a team that wins a playoff series or two — or even makes a Finals run.

As our roundup of the 2020 buyout market shows, there are a few candidates who could potentially fit that bill. One is new Clippers guard Reggie Jackson, who was bought out by Detroit last month. While some league observers viewed the signing of Jackson as unnecessary for a team that already featured a fairly strong, versatile backcourt, the ex-Piston has looked great in his first six games in Los Angeles, averaging 9.2 PPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.5 RPG on .500/.409/1.000 shooting in a part-time role.

Although he was technically waived in December rather than bought out in February, Rockets forward Jeff Green also signed after the trade deadline and has excelled with his new team. Serving as a de facto center in Houston’s microball lineup, Green has posted 7.7 PPG and 2.5 RPG with an impressive .593/.500/.833 shooting line in six games (17.5 MPG).

In Milwaukee, new Bucks forward Marvin Williams hasn’t put up eye-popping numbers, but he has been a steady, reliable presence on the wing, providing solid defense against opposing scoring threats. His best game so far came against the rival Raptors, when he recorded nine points, five rebounds, and a pair of steals in just 16 minutes of action while frequently guarding All-Star forward Pascal Siakam.

Rockets forward DeMarre Carroll and Lakers forward Markieff Morris are among the other recent additions who are seeing part-time minutes for their new teams. It’s even worth mentioning Anthony Tolliver, who signed a 10-day contract with the Grizzlies on Monday and promptly knocked down 4-of-5 three-pointers in a blowout win over Atlanta. If he sticks with the team beyond his 10-day deal, maybe he could help Memphis hang onto the No. 8 seed in the West.

A handful of somewhat intriguing players are still on the free agent market, including J.R. Smith, Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, and Allen Crabbe. It’s possible one or more of those players will sign with a contender soon and play a key role in the coming weeks.

What do you think? Will any of these players really make a difference for their new clubs down the stretch and in the postseason? If so, which one do you think is the best bet to make an impact?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your thoughts!

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7 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Best Second-Half FA Signing

    • Luke Adams

      He’s a free agent, free to sign anywhere. He had knee surgery last March — I’d assume he’d be recovered from that by now, though there were reportedly still some lingering questions about his health in the fall: link to hoopsrumors.com

  1. PapiElf

    Markieff Morris seems a bit full of himself and LeBron won’t appreciate that. I think Anthony Tolliver will have the biggest impact the rest of the year. Brandon Clarke and JJJ won’t be back for a couple of weeks so he will be playing mostly in their role. He definitely won’t keep up a 80% 3P%, obviously, but he might sit at 40% or so and the Grizzlies need that. Reggie Jackson won’t have a big impact with the Clippers if Lou, Montrezl, PG-13, and Kawhi are still there. I hope the Grizzlies make it to the playoffs. They probably won’t go far, especially if they are playing the Lakers, but it still will be nice to see them be decent for the first time since Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, and Mike Conley were still there.

  2. Jackson is the best player to be bought out, but I agreed with people who thought he didn’t sign in the place he could make the most Playoff impact. He’ll be impactful in the regular season with the 10 man rotation, and compensating for load management, and, thereafter, it there’s an injury.

    Morris’ choice of teams was also questionable for the same reason. He didn’t get much post buyout PT with the Thunder last year and it’s hard to see him getting it with the Lakers.

    Andrew Bogart can – by contract – sign with an NBA team before the playoffs. Not sure he’s up to it, but he could be impactful.

    • JD Candello

      Was not aware Bogut was avail……nice pull…

      Doesnt he have West/Clips written all over him ?

      Scary as a Laker fan, he’d be a nice body for them

      • El Don

        Really??? He’s done, got the fork stuck on him. No use at all anymore. That’s why nothing been heard of him this year.

  3. x%sure

    Langston Galloway can make an impact on a game. 40% 3pt is the best stat but none are awful. Pistons have already seen buyout departures, if this is not too many to agree to.

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