Community Shootaround: 2024 Buyout Market Impact

As our tracker shows, eight notable veteran players were waived at some point after last month’s trade deadline and subsequently landed with teams that have playoff or championship aspirations. Those players are as follows:

Unlike last year, when Russell Westbrook joined the Clippers after being let go by Utah, there are no former MVPs in this year’s group of buyout-market additions. But Lowry is a six-time All-Star; he and Mills have won titles; Gallinari, Dinwiddie, and Young have strong career résumés; and guys like Wright and Muscala have been consistent, reliable contributors for years.

Of course, it’s rare for any buyout market acquisitions to play important roles for championship-caliber clubs, and several of these players likely won’t be part of their respective teams’ playoff rotations. Still, Lowry is starting for the Sixers, while Gallinari is playing semi-regular minutes for a Bucks team that appears capable of making a deep postseason run. Others could emerge as key contributors, especially in the event of injuries.

This was also the first season that a new rule was in place prohibiting players who were earning more than the non-taxpayer mid-level exception ($12.4MM) before they were waived from joining teams whose salaries are above either tax apron.

That rule applied to Lowry and Dinwiddie, who weren’t eligible to sign with the Celtics, Nuggets, Warriors, Clippers, Heat, Bucks, or Suns. Those seven teams are also prohibited from signing a couple of veterans still available in free agency: Marcus Morris and Joe Harris.

Those tax-apron teams were still able to be players on the buyout market, but they were only able to target free agents whose pre-waiver salaries had been below $12.4MM, such as Gallinari, Wright, Mills, and Young.

Now that the NBA’s buyout season is just about over, we want to know what you think about this year’s moves. Which buyout market addition has the potential to make the biggest postseason impact? Will any of the players still on the free agent market play rotation roles for playoff teams? Did you appreciate the new restrictions placed on apron teams in the buyout market or find that rule unnecessary?

Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your two cents!

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