2013 NBA Waiver Wire Watch
Now that the NBA trade deadline is behind us, it’s time to look at players who could be seeking buyouts. In order for a player to be eligible for another team’s playoff roster, that player must be placed on waivers by March 1. With the lack of deals on deadline day, we could potentially see a lot of movement in the waiver wire this year.
Here is a look at players who could help out a playoff team, if they get bought out by their current squad.
Shortly after the Orlando Magic acquired Hakim Warrick from the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Josh McRoberts, the Magic announced that they will waive Warrick. Orlando clearly made the trade for financial reasons and now the 30-year-old power forward is available. Warrick has seen very little time on the court in 2013. He’s a guy who could provide a team some scoring off the bench, plus he can give you some rebounding help at either forward position. There are plenty of teams who could use some more depth in their frontcourt so Warrick should be able to find a suitor.
The Portland Trail Blazers waived Ronnie Price after acquiring reserve point guard Eric Maynor from the Oklahoma City Thunder just before Thursday’s trade deadline. Price, who is 29 years old and currently in his eighth NBA season, has played for four teams in his career. Price can provide some energy off of the bench and he has 28 games of playoff experience under his belt so he should be able to help a team come April. Prince played in 39 games for the Blazers, averaging 2.7 points and 1.9 assists in 13.1 minutes.
Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD reports that the Los Angeles Lakers would be interested in Raja Bell if he gets bought out by the Utah Jazz. Bell has yet to play this season and is currently working out in Florida. It would make sense that the Lakers are interested in Bell because of the fact that the 36-year-old has experience in Mike D’Antoni’s system since he started alongside Steve Nash with the Phoenix Suns. However, Bell could also help a number of other teams who are looking for a defensive stopper at shooting guard. Last season, Bell played in 34 games for the Jazz and averaged 6.4 points and 1.4 rebounds.
At 33 years old, Corey Maggette is hardly the player he once was. It’s been over two months since he’s seen time on the floor with the Detroit Pistons and it doesn’t seem like the Pistons are including him in their future plans. Maggette could provide a playoff team with a slasher, who can occasionally hit shots from three-point range. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and could use time with a new team to prove to NBA decision-makers that he still has some game left in him.
It’s been a tough season for Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Omri Casspi. He started more than half of the Cavaliers’ games last season, but this year he has only played in 29 of Cleveland’s 54 games. After failing to move Casspi in a trade this week, the Cavaliers may buyout the 24-year-old forward and give him a chance to sign with a contender. It could be difficult for Casspi to find a suitor though. He is only shooting 36 percent from the field this season and he has no playoff experience. Casspi will be a free agent this summer.
While many thought that Jermaine O’Neal wouldn’t finish out the season with the Phoenix Suns, ESPN is reporting that O’Neal will stand by the Suns and not seek a buyout from the club. If O’Neal were to get bought out, he would be a primary target for a contending team like the Miami HEAT, who would love to add front line help for their playoff run. O’Neal is averaging 7.2 points and 4.9 rebounds this season for the Suns, and has been playing even better as of late. In the month of February, O’Neal has averaged 11.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 22.3 minutes.
On February 11, Ben Gordon and Charlotte Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap were involved in an altercation. According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, Dunlap was making a speech to his team when Gordon started interrupting the coach by dribbling a basketball. With the Bobcats heading for another disappointing season, Gordon may seek a buyout and try to help another team down the stretch. While Gordon certainly can provide a team with offensive firepower, it may be difficult for him to find a team that will put up with his antics. Gordon is averaging 12.4 points and 2.2 assists this season. It would also be extremely difficult for the Bobcats to settle on a buyout with Gordon, who is making $12.4 million this season and is set to make $13.2 million in 2013-14.
Other Available Players
There is also a number of players who are currently playing overseas or waiting for a call as an unrestricted free agent. These players can be signed by a playoff team that is searching for that missing piece up until the final day of the regular season on April 17.
This season, Tracy McGrady has been playing for the Qingdao Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association. Questions have been raised about whether or not McGrady could still play in the NBA. While he averaged 25 points and 7.2 rebounds for the Eagles, the 33-year-old McGrady has a lot of wear and tear on his body. He has 15 years of professional basketball experience under his belt, not to mention the number of surgeries that he has gone through during his time in the NBA. Last season, McGrady averaged 5.3 points and 3 rebounds for the Atlanta Hawks. It remains to be seen whether or not a playoff team would give McGrady a shot with so few games left in the season.
Gilbert Arenas finds himself in the same situation as Tracy McGrady. Arenas spent the season playing in China for the Shanghai Sharks, where he averaged 20.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3 assists in 27.3 minutes. There weren’t any NBA teams willing to sign the 31-year-old guard when he was open to accepting a veteran’s minimum deal over the offseason, so he may not find any takers now either. However, he would like to resume his NBA career. Last season, Arenas had a short stint with the Memphis Grizzles, averaging 4.2 points in 17 games off of the bench.
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Boston Celtics are hoping to sign D.J. White to a 10-day contract. White spent this season in China, playing for the Shanghai Sharks. The Sharks’ season is officially over and the 26-year-old is looking to sign with an NBA team. Since the Celtics lost Jared Sullinger for the season, they have been searching for frontcourt help and White could help fill that void. White last played in the NBA for the Charlotte Bobcats last season, where he averaged 6.8 points and 3.6 rebounds in 18.9 minutes.
The Minnesota Timberwolves released Lou Amundson on February 8. Through 20 games with the Timberwolves, Amundson was only averaging 1.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. The Wolves released Amundson so that they could make room to sign Mickael Gelabale and Chris Johnson. Even though was cut loose by the Wolves this season, he has 29 games of playoff experience under his belt so he does have some postseason experience. With teams like the Miami HEAT and Los Angeles Lakers desperate for size, Amundson could provide a spark off the bench for either of those two teams.
Although Derek Fisher asked to be cut from the Dallas Mavericks to deal with a family issue in December, he could once again return to the NBA and provide veteran leadership and playoff experience to a team. The Boston Celtics are going all-in on this season and it never hurts to add someone who has played in 229 postseason games. If Derrick Rose doesn’t come back for the Chicago Bulls, that could also be a possible destination for Fisher. With the Los Angeles Lakers four games out of the eighth spot in the West, Fisher could also be a possibility for the Lakers. It would be his third time wearing the purple and gold.
It seems like every year we get excited about who may get bought out and what teams will pick up a player for their postseason run. Last year, J.J. Hickson averaged 15.1 points and 8.3 rebounds after being claimed off waivers by the Portland Trail Blazers. But the fact is that most of these players make little impact on their new teams. Last year, other big names included Boris Diaw (4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds with the San Antonio Spurs), Derek Fisher (4.9 points and 1.4 assists with the Oklahoma City Thunder), Gilbert Arenas (4.2 points and 1.1 assists with the Memphis Grizzlies), and Ronny Turiaf (3.5 points and 4.5 rebounds with the Miami HEAT).