NBA Rumors: 9 Teams Who Must Sign Players off Scrapheap

Ben Shapiro@benshapironyc1 Analyst IIIMarch 16, 2012

NBA Rumors: 9 Teams Who Must Sign Players off Scrapheap

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    The trade deadline has passed, but that doesn't mean that every team that had needs was able address them. 

    Some teams just could not find a trade they liked or the right partner to trade with. Others may have made calculated decisions to sit the deadline flurry of deals out and pluck players off the scrapheap once the deadline has passed. 

    Which teams are going to spend the upcoming days pouring over the waiver wire waiting to see which players get their contracts bought out and then released?

    Which teams could be watching D-League box scores in hopes of plucking a diamond from the developmental league rough?  

Boston Celtics

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    The Boston Celtics front court is now down to Kevin Garnett, Brandon Bass and Greg Stiemsma. 

    Jermaine O'Neal, to the surprise of absolutely no one, continues to battle injuries and might not return this season.  

    Chris Wilcox's season is over due to a heart condition that may require surgery.

    When the season started with this collection of players in the front court, it looked ominous. Now it's a disaster.

    To combat that problem, Danny Ainge decided to sit idly through the trading deadline and make no moves. One would have to assume that Ainge will be watching the wire to see if a player such as Chris Kaman becomes available. 

    Another option could be Chris Johnson, who was recently cut by the Trailblazers.

    The one thing that's obvious is that the Celtics are in desperate need of either a power forward, a center or ideally both. As to whether they get one or not, that's a different story.  

New York Knicks

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    The New York Knicks have a new coach, a new offense, a new winning streak—okay the winning streak is only one game. 

    They also have a frontcourt that has battled injuries all season. Tyson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire and Jared Jeffries have all dealt with health issues. Josh Harrelson is not good enough to take on major minutes, not when the team is trying to reverse it's fortunes and make the postseason with only 23 games left on the schedule. 

    The Knicks have all three low-post players healthy as of now, but to assume they can all maintain their health through the remainder of the season is not a safe bet. 

    The Knicks may find themselves battling their division rivals the Boston Celtics for the services of the same types of waived players. 

Los Angeles Lakers

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    The Los Angeles Lakers filled their hole at point guard, while managing to also shed salary. Not a bad trade deadline all things considered.

    The Lakers would love to retain as much, if not all, of their added financial flexibility until the offseason, but with a month left in the regular season it's possible that the team could detect a weakness they've yet to address. 

    Could a player like Gilbert Arenas be the answer the team's lack of players who can create their own shots? It's worth keeping an eye on. 

Miami Heat

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    A trade probably would have been a bit much given how good the Miami Heat have performed this season. 

    Even with that being the case, the Heat could still use a veteran guard or a serviceable big man. They worked out Rasheed Wallace a few weeks ago. 

    Now with Derek Fisher hitting the open market it wouldn't be a shock to see Miami take a look at him, especially given Fisher's wealth of experience in the postseason and playing alongside NBA superstars. 

    The Heat will be cautious about adding players who could disrupt the chemistry of a team that is playing exceptional basketball, but they won't shy from adding what could prove to be the final piece of a championship puzzle. 

San Antonio Spurs

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    Last season, the San Antonio Spurs finished with the best record in the Western Conference, and then all of a sudden, they appeared old and outmatched as they were bounced in a first-round upset by the upstart Memphis Grizzlies. 

    This season, the Spurs currently are positioned to claim the number two seed in the West, and they're determined to not suffer a similar first-round upset. 

    San Antonio added some offensive fire power in the form of Stephen Jackson at yesterday's trade deadline. If another player floats across the waiver wire who the team feels could add depth for the playoffs, they won't hesitate to take a flier. Recently bought out players such as Derek Fisher and Ronny Turiaf both come to mind, as does Anthony Carter whose agent has already spoken to San Antonio. 

Oklahoma City Thunder

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    With Derek Fisher having hit the market earlier today, any team looking to make a run in the postseason could use a savvy experienced veteran. 

    Add Oklahoma City to that list then. 

    The Thunder, who lost guard Eric Maynor for the season due to an injury, have been on the lookout for a viable backup ever since. 

    They've settled into a rotation that includes Reggie Jackson, but Jackson is not going to inspire confidence in a big playoff situation. 

    With a guard like Fisher out there, the Thunder are likely to show interest. 

Indiana Pacers

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    Before the trade deadline, Larry Bird had kicked the tires on Celtics' guard Ray Allen, but Bird felt that the Celtics asking price was too high.

    The Pacers were also interested in New Orleans Hornets' center Chris Kaman, but that deal never came to fruition either. 

    Those two inquiries, combined with a lack of action at the deadline, mean the Pacers could be picking through that scrapheap of discarded players searching for what they failed to acquire via trade. 

    The Pacers have cap space, so money won't be the deciding factor. 

Philadelphia 76ers

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    Spencer Hawes is finally expected back from an Achilles injury tonight.

    The promising young big man has missed a considerable portion of the season. His return is critical to Philadelphia's hopes of making a run in the playoffs. 

    In his absence, the Sixers had to scrap for rebounds and make up for shaky interior defense. The Sixers didn't make any major moves at the trade deadline, with the exception of a minor trade to acquire Grizzlies' bench warmer Sam Young.

    The team could test the waiver wire and see if there's a big man they could add to provide depth, as well as a small buffer of sorts should Hawes go down with an injury again.  

Chicago Bulls

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    The Chicago Bulls had more than just a casual interest in Pau Gasol. That trade never came to fruition, and the Bulls made no personnel moves at the deadline. 

    Clearly their interest in Gasol exposes a desire to increase their offensive capabilities. They won't find anyone even remotely resembling a player with Gasol's skills on the NBA scrapheap, but they'll keep a close eye on it for any potential player who could help out in a tough playoff series.