The NBA transfer market in this 2022/23 came to an end this week, on Thursday, February 9. Teams can no longer make those trades, but they can still sign players who are free. Another variable of this League comes into play in the offices: the buyouts. Players who manage to be released from their contracts, for whatever reason, still have the option of going to another team to compete until the end of the campaign. After the traditional period of waivers (48 hours), in which the token can be absorbed (unusual formula in this case), short contracts and for the minimum will begin to fall, especially in those that play the title.
The main name of this string is Russell Westbrook. At 34 years old, this NBA MVP has just left behind another tortuous stage in a career on the decline. Averaging 15’9 points, 6’2 rebounds or 7’5 basket passes this season are not enough if you look at other metrics such as leadership, percentages or no ability to adapt to a smaller role. The Lakers traded him to the Jazz, the team from a city for which he has shown his rejection due to racist incidents that have occurred on his court in the past, and he remains waiting. There are conflicting reports: Tony Jones, insider of the franchise, go two ways, or that it does debut in Utah with a restricted load of minutes or that it will be cut soon; Adrian Wojnarowski lists the Bulls as favorites to take him and Chris Haynes adds the Heat to the equation. But there is more. The residents of Los Angeles do not lose sight of him. The Clippers are campaigning for him, and it seems that in two directions: Paul George and Marcus Morris have spoken that they want the point guard to join the team, which has been reinforced with exteriors in this market, but Lawrence Frank -general manager – has pointed out, in a tone of rejection, when asked by Russ that what they really need is a point guard “That he is not so domineering with the ball” and “that is capable of throwing”.
There are more players available on the market or, due to the situation in which they have been left with the latest changes, they can be proposed to leave the teams that pay their token. Next, a small review of the most striking ones.
Patrick Beverley (Magic). After seeing his reunion with D’Angelo Russell, with whom he got along well last year, frustrated, now the controversial point guard is in Orlando and wanting to stay at a higher level. The Magic are not fighting for the postseason in the NBA and Beverley will be one of those who move to enjoy permission from the franchise. The player’s greatest interest is to return to the Timberwolves, in this case as support for Mike Conley, a team in which he vibrated until the Lakers signed him for the LeBron and Davis project that has been giving so much play these years.
Serge Ibaka (Pacers). The Spanish-Congolese power forward was separated in the Bucks and in the Pacers he did not have a place either. A transfer that has completely freed the 33-year-old player. The Clippers have asked about him. Also in the Raptors, another known place, he can fit. The option of withdrawing and returning to Europe cannot be ruled out either now or in the summer.
John Wall (Rockets). History of those who walk between laughter and fear. Wall, signed by the Clippers to try to enhance his career after years in the dry dock, has returned to the same team that threw him out last year and has followed the same operation. He will not continue with the Rockets, who absorbed him by sending Eric Gordon to LA. This is even spicier if you take into account John’s fierce criticism on a podcast recently about the culture of Silas’s team, the attitude of Green or Porter, and the bad vibes there, always according to his opinion. .
George Hill (Pacers). Same case as Ibaka. He was in Milwaukee, which with Allen, Carter or Beauchamp had a number of minutes covered that Hill didn’t get. In the Pacers it was great, but it doesn’t seem like fate now fits. Haliburton and Mathurin carry the brunt of outside management. This May he turns 37 years old.
Danny Green (Rockets). He broke his right knee in May of last year and Memphis took his contract despite not being able to count on him for a good part of the season. He returned, played a little over a week with his new team and was traded. Green, a champion with three different teams, still enjoys a good reputation as a defender and a pitcher, two tools that go a long way in this League. Waiting to continue seeing his evolution after the injury, Houston does not seem like the place for a veteran who can contribute in the fight for the championship. Boston will go for him if he’s released, but that’s not confirmed yet. Rafael Stone has also left the door open for him to remain in the Texan team.
Terrence Ross (Magic). One of those players who every year is in rumors of transfers or to go out with buyout. This market was key for him, who doesn’t play what he wants in the Magic despite producing a lot in a few minutes, and for the team, who will lose him in the summer. He is an unrestricted free agent this 2023. Not even Orlando has gotten anything for him, not Ross maintains a good exposure in order to win a good contract to continue in the NBA.
Reggie Jackson (Hornets). His career was revived in his time with the Clippers, but the aggressive changes in his position made these days left him out of the plans. The good press of him can be worth the glory. In Charlotte, out of options and with Rozier and Ball ahead, he won’t continue. The Suns and the Nuggets are the best placed to get him.
Kevin Love (Cavaliers). This shooting power forward, a hero in Cleveland, a club man, has understood that we have to make way. JB Bickerstaff told him that his presence on the track was going to be drastically reduced and he assured that he understood. Now, you can exit once the market close has passed and there has been no movement on it. This is the first season in which he has dropped below 10 points per season. He kept an eye on the Warriors, and what his signing would mean given the history between them (the final four and the 2016 Ring with his defense against Curry on the last play).
Will Barton (Wizards). The ball is in the Wizards’ court. They decide how much they want to bet this season. Barton, full of color in Denver and duller in Washington, will come out only if allowed by a team that still has hopes of doing something: play-in, playoffs… This year is the last of the contract and his average number of minutes is below twenty for the first time in eight years. His defensive gaps are not an impediment for points to fall out of his hands, a good weapon for the privileged.
Goga Bitadze (Pacers). Here we have a player who could join the Euroleague soon. The Georgian interior was cut by the Pacers and is looking for a new place to strengthen itself. First he met Sabonis and then Turner as reference men in the paint, and he had little shine when he had to jump into the ring, but there is potential. The European competition market ends in less than a month for players not previously registered, as is the case with Facu Campazzo (who is waiting for the Red Star sanction to be fulfilled after leaving the Dallas Mavericks), and the example of Ante Zizic , now in Anadolu Efes, may be worth it.
Dewayne Dedmond (Spurs).
· Nerlens Noel (Pistons).
Khem Birch (Spurs).