The NBA trade deadline is closed and several players have moved teams ahead of what promises to be another exciting conclusion to an NBA season. James Harden and Ben Simmons swapped teams, with a few of their teammates also making the move. Domantas Sabonis has already made an impact on his new team in Sacramento, helping them to a win.
Now, the only option left for other teams to improve their rosters is the buyout market, and while it's not the place to find season-altering talent, there are still several serviceable options that can help the teams that need a little extra oomph ahead of the playoffs. According to HoopsHype, here is the list of players who could reach a buyout agreement and become free agents.
Dennis Schroder was traded to the Houston Rockets on deadline day and his contract being just a 1-year deal means he is a prime candidate for a buyout. Teams with injuries in their roster like the Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz could use Schroder's scoring ability, but he could just end up surprising everyone and making a move back to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dragic has been expected to be bought out of his contract since the beginning of the season, he has barely been used by the Toronto Raptors. Having moved to the San Antonio Spurs in a trade, Dragic is expected to have his pick of some playoff teams. The Mavericks have been considered his primary destination, but he could just as easily end up with a team like the Milwaukee Bucks. A return to Miami could also be a possibility.
Harris did not get moved by the Orlando Magic ahead of the trade deadline but he doesn't fit their timeline, which makes him a prime candidate for a buyout. There haven't been many links to what teams he might end up with, but he is a talented enough scorer with enough playoff experience to find a team that will sign him.
Eric Bledsoe moved to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the deal that saw the Los Angeles Clippers acquire Norman Powell. The Blazers are blowing up a lot of the roster around Lillard to retool for another playoff push next season, so Bledsoe's $3.9 guaranteed salary for next season makes him an ideal candidate for a buyout.
Lopez has barely played for the Orlando Magic this season, he has featured in just 25 games. The big man is heavily underutilized and could become an interesting option for teams like the Golden State Warriors or the Dallas Mavericks who could need a paint presence for the playoffs.
Tristan Thompson was included in the trade for Domantas Sabonis but only as a way to match salary. Thompson has barely featured for the Kings and it remains to be seen how much interest he would draw if he were to be bought out. He has been linked with a move to the Chicago Bulls, which could be ideal for him considering how well the team are doing this season.
DJ Augustin has been waived by the Boston Celtics to make space for Daniel Theis, as per the Houston Chronicle. At 34, Augustin would bring a veteran presence to any team that picks him up and while there are no destinations in rumors just yet, he will surely be subject to some approaches in the buyout market.
Hernangomez ended up on the Utah Jazz as a part of a three-team trade. While he could provide a decent wing option for the team, it's much more likely that he gets waived. It's hard to say if any NBA teams will pick him up again but a return to Spain is reportedly a possibility.
Satoransky is someone that has looked primed for a buyout all season and it seems unlikely that a trade to the San Antonio Spurs has changed that. Satoransky is averaging just 2.9 points per game this season though, an abysmal return and one that would likely make teams unlikely to take a punt on him.
Ben McLemore is on a minimum contract and if the Trail Blazers decide to tank for a better pick, then he could become one of the primary casualties. As a career 36% three-point shooter, McLemore will always be a desirable candidate for teams and a return to the Lakers might not be out of the question.
Paul Millsap was a piece in the Harden-Simmons trade and there's no information about whether he is in Philadelphia's plans for the future. At age 37, Millsap might just be considering retirement, but one last playoff run with Philly or some other team is not entirely out of the question.
Credit for the idea: HoopsHype