The NBA’s trade deadline has come and gone, with the Philadelphia 76ers‘ lone move coming in the form of a three-team trade with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Charlotte Hornets. While the Sixers appear to have made an upgrade on the wing, the team could stand another upgrade or two, with one position certainly coming to mind. Philadelphia will have the opportunity to do just that, thanks to what is known as the NBA’s buyout market.
The buyout market is effectively the epilogue of the trade deadline. It’s a time when players — some after being traded, and some because they were not — come to an agreement with their team to give back a portion of their guaranteed salary in order to become a free agent.
There are a number of players who find may themselves reaching the buyout market this season. From big names like Russell Westbrook and John Wall to familiar faces like former Sixers Danny Green and Nerlens Noel, there are plenty of potential options for the Sixers to further improve their roster.
Here’s a look at the latest happenings in the buyout market.
One of the biggest names on the buyout market, Russell Westbrook, seemed like a surefire candidate to be bought out after the Los Angeles Lakers made their blockbuster trade that sent him to the Utah Jazz in a three-team deal. According to The Athletic’s Tony Jones, the Jazz, and Westbrook “are open to every possibility” going forward, including the retention of Westbrook.
That bit of surprising news aside, the chances of a buyout very much remain a possibility for Westbrook, with three teams rising to the top as potential landing spots. The Miami Heat have been connected since before Westbrook was dealt, while Paul George has been actively and publicly campaigning for his former teammate to come back to LA, but to the Clippers.
The “frontrunner” for Westbrook’s services, however, may be the Chicago Bulls, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
It would be unlikely, to say the least, to see the Sixers get involved in the Russell Westbrook market.
Another notable name expected to hit the buyout market is Reggie Jackson, who was traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Mason Plumlee. Once Jackson is officially on the open market, he’s expected to have his fair share of suitors.
The Athletic’s John Hollinger reported that the Milwaukee Bucks are a “rumored hot spot” for his services, while the Denver Post’s Mike Signer stated that Jackson is “near the top” of the Denver Nuggets’ wish list. The third major player for Jackson is the Phoenix Suns, who Chris Haynes stated could be a potential landing spot.
Some have speculated Jackson as a fit with the Sixers, but there has been no concrete reporting as of this moment.
*UPDATE* According to Shams Charania, Jackson and the Hornets are finalizing a buyout which will allow the former Clipper to join the top-seeded Denver Nuggets. (2/11)
Will Barton’s time in Washington certainly did not go as either party had planned when he was first acquired from the Denver Nuggets. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the 11-year veteran and the Wizards are currently negotiating a buyout that would allow him to find a new home.
Back on Jan. 13, TNT and Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported that there were teams calling about Barton’s availability, though, as we know now, a deal did not materialize before the deadline. Potential suitors have been more so “suggested” than “reported,” but Barton’s market will almost certainly develop shortly. Haynes did state that he believes the Phoenix Suns will be interested.
Barton could potentially be a quality addition for the Sixers, but the would have to beat out other top contenders, which is unlikely especially considering the team’s top priority is an upgrade at center.
After being traded to the Orlando Magic in a deal that sent Mo Bamba to the Los Angeles Lakers, the writing was written on the wall for Beverley’s next move. That was soon confirmed as The Athletic’s Shams Charania soon reported that the Magic and Beverley are, in fact, working on a buyout.
Initial reports suggested Beverly would be returning to Minnesota; however, that appears to have since been dispelled, according to Marc Stein, who additionally mentioned the Dallas Mavericks are not interested.
While the focus for Philadelphia will likely be finding a backup center in the buyout market, the Matisse Thybulle trade cleared enough room under the luxury tax that the Sixers could, in theory, pursue two buyout candidates. Should the team decide to do so, Beverley would be an interesting candidate due to his playoff experience, defensive ability, and existing relationship with James Harden.
Nerlens Noel is among the most popular names when speaking of potential buyout candidates the Sixers could be interested in. Philadelphia was connected to Noel at the deadline, and though a deal never materialized, it would stand to reason that the team would still be interested should he become available.
Last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported that, according to a source, the Detroit Pistons would have interest in buying out Nerlens Noel if they did not find a trade partner by Thursday’s deadline. Well, the deadline came and went, and Noel remains on the Piston’s roster for now. Pompey also stated that the Sixers would have interest in a reunion with Noel should that be the case.
The Sixers would not be the lone team interested in Noel as he will have plenty of suitors, including the Boston Celtics, though they did trade for Mike Muscala, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Miami Heat.
The wrinkle in all of this is what The Athletic’s James L. Edwards III had to say on the subject back in January. According to Edwards, while the Pistons did actively shop the 28-year-old center, Noel would not be looking for a buyout, even if he remained with the Pistons past the deadline. Granted, this was nearly a month ago and predated Pompey’s report.
Noel is owed $9.4 million this season, with a club option for $9.6 million in 2024.
It feels as though Orlando Magic wing Terrence Ross has been a potential buyout candidate for nearly an eternity. He’s been considered a potential Sixers target for even longer. Ross is, or at least was, the type of microwave scorer that had the potential to spark or sink a team’s offense in the postseason.
He’ll have just that opportunity as Ross and the Magic have officially agreed to a buyout per Adrian Wojnarowski. According to Marc Stein, the Dallas Mavericks have shown an interest in signing Ross, while HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto added the Phoenix Suns to that list.
Could the Sixers enter the race? Perhaps, but with the addition of Jalen McDaniels at the deadline, they have bigger positional fish to fry.
*UPDATE* Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the Dallas Mavericks are the frontrunners for Ross. (2/11)
*UPDATE* Terrence Ross has agreed to a buyout with the Orlando Magic and will sign with the Phoenix Suns. (2/12)
After being traded from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets, John Wall appears to be headed to the buyout market unless the Rockets plan on retaining him as punishment for his recent comments.
According to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko, the Rockets do, in fact, have plans to waive Wall, and the early speculated landing spots include the Los Angeles Lakers and Wall’s former stomping grounds in Washington with the Wizards.
If the Sixers do look to upgrade their playmaking off the bench, Wall could certainly be a fit, though the chances appear to be unlikely at this point.
Like John Wall, former Sixer Danny Green was also traded to the Houston Rockets and, again like Wall, is expected to be on the move again very shortly.
Per Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics, Cavaliers, and “Los Angeles” are expected to be in on a potential deal with Danny Green. Woj did not clarify if he was referring to the Lakers or the Clippers though both teams are sensical landing spots.
While the Sixers have not officially been linked to a reunion with Green, it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility.
*UPDATE* According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Danny Green and the Rockets have agreed on a buyout and he will join the Cleveland Cavaliers once he clears waivers. (2/12)
After his trade from the Miami Heat to San Antonio, it became clear rather quickly that former Sixers center Dewayne Dedmon would not be staying with the Spurs. The veteran journeyman has been waived by the Spurs, clearing the way for him to join a potential contender once he clears waivers, though perhaps he’ll have to wait until after teams figure out Noel’s situation.
One of those teams could potentially be the Sixers, who according to president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, are looking for a way to improve their play at backup center.
*UPDATE* According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Philadelphia 76ers have reached an agreement to sign Dedmon for the rest of the season. You can read more on that here.
Whether or not there was a trade in place by the deadline, it seemed clear that Serge Ibaka was destined to be a free agent at some point during the season. After being traded from Milwaukee to Indiana, Pacers general manager Kevin Pritchard told reporters that the team would waive Ibaka.
A market has not yet developed for Ibaka, but it appears he has some interest in joining the Miami Heat, according to Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald, though it remains unclear if the Heat share that interest.
Ibaka does very much match the profile of previous Sixers backup centers, and that is not a compliment.